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Complement or competition in water governance?: Analysing two collaborative water management arrangements in one river basin
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5582-9877
2020 (English)In: Water Policy, ISSN 1366-7017, E-ISSN 1996-9759Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This study aims at advancing collaborative governance theory by investigating the interaction between two different collaborative arrangements within the same forested area of high ecological and social value in the Vindel River basin. Semi-structured interviews, policy documents and observations of board meetings were analysed based on analytical typologies of collaborative arrangements to answer the following questions: which factors can explain why a new collaborative arrangement was established within an area where one already existed? In what way do the two arrangements compete with or complement each other? And, to what extent do they address the effects of forestry on water? The analysis shows that a new collaborative arrangement was formed because the existing arrangement did not materialise certain stakeholders' expectations. Moreover, the two collaborative arrangements do not compete but rather complement each other. The newly established organisational/action collaborative arrangement presented those stakeholders most interested in on-the-ground action with the appropriate venue while freeing them from the organisational/policy arrangement that did not match their aims. However, both arrangements experienced power misbalances as certain stakeholders were perceived as having more influence on their agenda. Collaboration at this local-regional level was found to focus on limited problems with concrete and feasible solutions, such as fish migration, rather than on the complex problems with solutions marked by ecological uncertainty and power asymmetries, e.g. diffuse pollution from forestry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IWA Publishing, 2020.
Keywords [en]
Collaborative governance, EU Water Framework Directive, Forest water, Institutional interplay, North Sweden, Water governance
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167744DOI: 10.2166/wp.2020.202OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-167744DiVA, id: diva2:1390721
Available from: 2020-02-03 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-02-03
In thesis
1. Forest water governance: challenges in cross-sectoral and multi-level collaboration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Forest water governance: challenges in cross-sectoral and multi-level collaboration
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Forests and water are highly interconnected with forestry practices negatively affecting forest water. In the last five decades, the Swedish state has enacted multiple policy changes and allocated significant resources towards the implementation of soft policy instruments to alleviate the effects on forest water. The European Union Water Framework Directive has further raised the legal requirements for water protection, including within the forest sector. However, these efforts have largely failed thus far. Forests and water are governed by two separate sectors, each with its own polycentric governance system and policy goals that are often conflicting. The governance mode of these systems is determined by a unique combination of policy instruments and a varying degree of centralisation depending on state involvement. Since governing forest water requires collaboration between the forest and water sector governance systems, it entails interplay between the two systems on different ecological scales. The aim of this thesis is to explore and explain the challenges related to the governance of a resource that requires cross-sectoral multi-level governance and to examine the role of the state in those interactions. The thesis includes a mix of quantitative (survey and aerial photographs) and qualitative (interviews, analysis of documents and meeting observations) research methods for investigating forest water governance across national, regional and local levels. Empirically, it involves four case studies analysing units embedded in the larger case – namely cross-sectoral governance of forest water.

The results show that within the current structure of Swedish forest water governance there is minimal cross-sectoral collaboration, with an exception being at the national level. Regional and local implementation of the outputs produced at national level relies mainly on the forest sector, with little to no coordination with water sector institutions at the regional district or river basin levels. Moreover, power asymmetries between the two sectors are transposed to the collaborative process which affects participants’ capacity to influence the governance of forest water. Since the studied cases show that most of the financial resources for forest water protection are provided top-down, the role of the state in initiating and maintaining collaboration is crucial. The thesis confirms previous research findings that water governance requires a more centralised polycentric governance system. Combining polycentric governance (including at the river basin scale) with centralised state-coordination is a potential solution to problems that require cross-sectoral and multi-level governance interplay. Further inquiry into cross-sectoral governance of natural resources could develop a better understanding of how coordination in polycentric governance systems at different ecological scales could be structured to mitigate policy goal conflicts across sectors and institutional levels, thus fostering more effective governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2020. p. 75
Series
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2020:1
Keywords
Forest water, Governance, Cross-sectoral governance, Multi-level governance, Governance mode, Collaborative governance, Natural resource management, Environmental policy, Water Framework Directive
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167747 (URN)978-91-7855-189-7 (ISBN)978-91-7855-190-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-02-28, S213, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-02-07 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-02-14Bibliographically approved

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Mancheva, Irina

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