Towards democratic and effective forest governance?: The discursive legitimation of forest certification in northern Sweden
2014 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 19, no 7, 803-819 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Forest certification, particularly that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is frequently claimed to constitute an effective and democratic private governance arrangement for responsible forestry. It has, however, recently been questioned whether this view holds true for the northernmost countries, which have traditionally been presented as successful examples of forest certification. Yet there is little research on the perceived legitimacy of forest certification at the local level, which is where the standard implementation takes place. This paper examines how the perceived legitimacy of forest certification is created as well as challenged at the local level in Sweden, drawing on Steffek's [2009. Discursive legitimation in environmental governance. Forest Policy and Economics, 11, 313–318] conceptualisation of discursive legitimation and Bernstein's [2011. Legitimacy in intergovernmental and non-state global governance. Review of International Political Economy, 18 (1), 17–51] definition of legitimacy as well as semi-structured interviews with forest companies, reindeer husbandry (indigenous Sámi) and environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs). The results reveal that local ENGOs question the FSC's decision-making process and results, while both the ENGOs and reindeer husbandry see few opportunities to influence long-term forest management. These findings highlight the difficulties of managing power asymmetries in certification and the challenges involved when certification standards are translated from policy to practice.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 19, no 7, 803-819 p.
forest certification, discourse, legitimacy, governance, reindeer husbandry
Research subject statskunskap
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63944DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2013.792050OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-63944DiVA: diva2:584972
Published online: 07 May 20132013-01-092013-01-092016-05-26Bibliographically approved