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Allemansrätten in Sweden: A resistant custom
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. (Arcum)
2014 (English)In: Landscapes, ISSN 2040-8153, Vol. 15, no 2, 106-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By studying parliamentary proposals, debates, and reports as well as governmental inquiries and proposals from the first half of the twentieth century, the authors analyse the status of the allemansrätt – ‘every man’s right’ to public access - in Sweden. The founding principles of this use-right have been generally accepted since the late nineteenth century, but for almost as long there has been a feeling that it has been used (and abused) for commercial as well as personal interest, first by ‘for-profit’ berry harvesters and later on by tourist companies. These uses have been questioned by a minority of conservative and (to a less extent) liberal landowners, who have tried to limit the right of public access to private land by addressing the issue in the parliament. At the same time, a political majority of socialists, liberals, and conservatives has defended the right from being either limited or regulated by law. This resistance is explained by the economic characteristics of the resources at stake, and by the difficulties associated with transferring a customary right into law, i.e. an informal institution to a formal institution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 15, no 2, 106-118 p.
Keyword [en]
soft governance, berry harvesting, outdoor, recreation, ideological conflicts, landscapes
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95405DOI: 10.1179/1466203514Z.00000000029OAI: diva2:759197
Future Forests
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Available from: 2014-10-29 Created: 2014-10-29 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Sténs, AnnaSandström, Camilla
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Department of historical, philosophical and religious studiesDepartment of Political Science

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