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Incentives for collaborative governance: top-down and bottom-up initiatives in the Swedish mountain region
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. (Arcum)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6546-5210
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. (Arcum)
2015 (English)In: Mountain Research and Development Journal, ISSN 0276-4741, E-ISSN 1994-7151, Vol. 35, no 3, 289-298 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Governance collaborations between public and private partners are increasingly used to promote sustainable mountain development, yet information is limited on their nature and precise extent. This article analyzes collaboration on environment and natural resource management in Swedish mountain communities to critically assess the kinds of issues these efforts address, how they evolve, who leads them, and what functional patterns they exhibit based on Margerum's (2008) typology of action, organizational, and policy collaboration. Based on official documents, interviews, and the records of 245 collaborative projects, we explore the role of the state, how perceptions of policy failure may inspire collaboration, and the opportunities that European Union funds have created. Bottom-up collaborations, most of which are relatively recent, usually have an action and sometimes an organizational function. Top-down collaborations, however, are usually organizational or policy oriented. Our findings suggest that top-down and bottom-up collaborations are complementary in situations with considerable conflict over time and where public policies have partly failed, such as for nature protection and reindeer grazing. In less contested areas, such as rural development, improving tracks and access, recreation, and fishing, there is more bottom-up, action-oriented collaboration. State support, especially in the form of funding, is central to explaining the emergence of bottom-up action collaboration. Our findings show that the state both initiates and coordinates policy networks and retains a great deal of power over the nature and functioning of collaborative governance. A practical consequence is that there is great overlap—aggravated by sectorized approaches—that creates a heavy workload for some regional partners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 35, no 3, 289-298 p.
Keyword [en]
collaborative governance, partnerships, mountain development, natural resource management, role of the state, Sweden
National Category
Political Science Environmental Sciences Economics and Business
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109293DOI: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-14-00068.1ISI: 000361557100008OAI: diva2:856666
Samverkan i fjällen
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Available from: 2015-09-24 Created: 2015-09-23 Last updated: 2016-05-16Bibliographically approved

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Eckerberg, KatarinaBjärstig, ThereseZachrisson, Anna
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