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Conflict resolution mechanisms in co-management: The Laponia World heritage Site
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
(English)In: Environmental Politics, ISSN 0964-4016Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

To accommodate changes in the environment and society, a diverse range of institutional tools is needed. One such tool is co-management, which is particularly relevant for management of the commons, but little is known about the socio-political processes (ideal and actual) involved in the emergence of co-management arrangements. Conflicts have been proposed as catalysts for the development of co-management and conflict resolution mechanisms have recognized importance, but they have not been intensively examined in the literature regarding commons. The aim of this paper is to analyze the processes that occur in the shift from policymaking to implementation during the emergence of co-management arrangements, in order to further understand institutional and policy change. The study was prompted partly by a perceived need to clarify concepts related to conflict resolution mechanisms. Hence, concepts in alternative dispute resolution theory and in the literature on com­mons and policy change are compared. A theoretical framework is then developed in which process models of collaboration are discussed in relation to learning orders. Finally, the process involved in the establishment of the Laponia World Heritage Site is examined, as both an illustration and an initial test of the relevance of the theoretical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informaworld plc., Taylor and Francis Group.
Keyword [en]
Co-management, commons, policy change, implementation, conflict resolution, learning
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30148OAI: diva2:280248
This paper was awarded "Best Paper" at the annual meeting of the Swedish Political Science Association (SWEPSA) in Örebro, Sweden, 2009.Available from: 2009-12-09 Created: 2009-12-09 Last updated: 2009-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Commons protected for or from the people?: Co-management in the Swedish mountain region?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Commons protected for or from the people?: Co-management in the Swedish mountain region?
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Protected areas have so far been the primary means to conserve biodiversity, an increasingly important environmental issue, but proposals to establish protected areas are often met by local resistance due to fears that user rights will be severely restrained. Nature conservation traditionally aims to preserve an ideal state of nature, in which interference by people is minimized through a number of regulations, and where central authorities are in charge. Increasingly, however, conservation policy emphasizes participation. Protected area designations are about institutional change where customary and legal rights to use and manage certain resources are renegotiated. Protected areas can be considered as multi-use and multi-level commons that may benefit from co-management where the state cooperates with user groups, municipalities, research institutions and others.

This thesis analyzes the establishment phase of the co-management of multi-level, multi-use commons in order to characterize design principles common to the emergence of co-management processes which improve institutional robustness.

The thesis is based on a quantitative survey study and a small-n comparative case study. Paper I compares national, regional and local public opinions about protected areas through a multi-level survey. Papers II to IV each presents a case study of a designation process within the Swedish mountain region. The qualitative case studies are based on the structured, focused comparison method and employ within-case analysis and process-tracing. The material examined consisted of written documenta­tion and 41 semi-structured interviews.

The two studies contribute to commons theory; the focus on the establishment phase provides opportunities to acquire abundant information about how contextual and process factors influence the functioning of a co-management arrangement. Paper I suggests that national public opinion is an important contextual variable for natural resources of national interest, and shows that 65% of the Swedish population support local or co-management of protected areas. Papers II to IV reveal that the rigidity of the existing institutional framework is another important contextual variable that influences the degree of learning taking place. Further, the comparative analysis proposes that certain characteristics of a process (the co-management process principles) are essential for the realization of co-management arrangements of multi-level and multi-use commons. The principles are representation, reason(ableness), powers, accountability and learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2009. 67 p.
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2009:3
commons, co-management, governance, multi-level survey, deliberation, accountability, conflict resolution mechanisms, learning
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30150 (URN)978-91-7264-889-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-22, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal C, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-12-18 Created: 2009-12-09 Last updated: 2009-12-18Bibliographically approved

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