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Commons protected for or from the people?: Co-management in the Swedish mountain region?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
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.
Series
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2009:3
Keyword [en]
commons, co-management, governance, multi-level survey, deliberation, accountability, conflict resolution mechanisms, learning
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30150ISBN: 978-91-7264-889-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30150DiVA: diva2:280256
Public defence
2010-01-22, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal C, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-12-18 Created: 2009-12-09 Last updated: 2009-12-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Who should manage protected areas in the Swedish mountain region?: A survey approach to co-management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who should manage protected areas in the Swedish mountain region?: A survey approach to co-management
2008 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 87, no 1, 154-164 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates attitudes towards co-management of protected areas in Sweden, at the national, county and local level. In Sweden, protected areas are still primarily designated and managed hierarchically—a practice increasingly contested by people living close to them, including indigenous Sámi reindeer herders whose economic activities are located within protected areas. The general view could, on the contrary, be anticipated to be pro-state since protected areas are considered to be of national interest. For democratic reasons, however, the opinions of the whole population should be considered. In order to measure both local and general views, this study is based on a two-sample survey of 8868 respondents. The objectives are to map and explain attitudes regarding who should manage protected areas in Sweden, and to test the usefulness of a multi-level quantitative method. Such an approach is unusual in co-management literature that is empirically mainly based on local case studies. The explanatory ambition sets out to test three hypotheses drawn from common-pool resource theory; resource dependency, common understanding, and trust. Perhaps surprisingly, the results show that a considerable majority of the respondents (at all levels) wish to see self- or co-management. All three hypotheses are important to understand attitudes toward the management of protected areas, but not always in the way that the theory anticipates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , ScienceDirect, 2008
Keyword
Co-management, Protected areas, Swedish mountain region
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19572 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.01.010 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-03-06 Created: 2009-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-13
2. Deliberative democracy and co-management of natural resources: snowmobile regulation in western Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deliberative democracy and co-management of natural resources: snowmobile regulation in western Sweden
2010 (English)In: International Journal of the Commons, ISSN 1875-0281, E-ISSN 1875-0281, Vol. 4, no 1, 273-292 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Deliberation is an understudied aspect of co-management institutions and common pool theory that can be improved by a closer connection to deliberative democratic theory. Analyses of co-management arrangements provide needed empirical insights to deliberative democratic theory, although such arrangements are group-based and not readily accepted as examples of deliberative democracy. A framework is developed to analyze to what degree co-management arrangements incorporate deliberative elements and how they contribute to improved decision-making. To test its usefulness, a case study of a co-management process in Sweden is analyzed. In Funäsdalsfjällen, a mountainous area of western Sweden, a conflict-ridden situation caused by expanded use of snowmobiles eventually led to the establishment of a municipal regulation area. Central and regional authorities initially failed to resolve the conflict, but when they started working directly with the municipality and relevant interest groups, agreement was reached. Deliberative elements are shown to have been central to the success of the co-management process, and it is concluded that co-management and deliberative democratic approaches cross-fertilize one another.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC), 2010
Keyword
accountability, co-management, deliberation, deliberative democracy, mountain commons, snowmobiling, Sweden
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30147 (URN)10.18352/ijc.116 (DOI)
External cooperation:
Note

This paper was awarded "Best Ph.D. Student Paper" at the 12th International Symposium on Society and Natural Resources (ISSRM) in Vancouver, Canada, 2006.

Available from: 2009-12-09 Created: 2009-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. The designation of Fulufjället National Park: efficient co-management through downward accountability?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The designation of Fulufjället National Park: efficient co-management through downward accountability?
2009 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 14, no 3, 259-271 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

International obligations in nature conservation policy demand for decentralisation and co-management. Co-management arrangements are increasingly seen as forms of governance, which opens up for the critique that accountability becomes blurred when public–private relations are characterised by informality and negotiations. The purpose of this article is to examine the issue of accountability by comparing comanagement theory and the decentralisation framework of Agrawal and Ribot, and by empirically analysing the designation of Fulufja¨llet National Park. This case constitutes a blueprint for Swedish efforts to adhere to the international obligations for decentralisation and is thus an example of their implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2009
Keyword
co-management, decentralisation, public participation, accountability
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30142 (URN)10.1080/13549830802693177 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-12-09 Created: 2009-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Conflict resolution mechanisms in co-management: the Laponia world heritage site
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conflict resolution mechanisms in co-management: the Laponia world heritage site
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
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.

Keyword
Co-management, commons, policy change, implementation, conflict resolution, learning
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30148 (URN)
Note

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: 2017-03-22Bibliographically approved

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