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Whitman, Max, 2020. Exploring the mechanics of power in Swedish forest management : narratives by self-proclaimed critics’ and their understanding of the power dynamics transforming the Swedish forest landscape. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



The Swedish forest landscape is being transformed as more natural forests are replaced by production ones, increasing the number of threatened species. As a result, Sweden will neither fulfil its national nor its international environmental goals connected to the forest. In this study, I analyse the mechanics of power behind the transformation of the forest landscape from the perspectives of self-proclaimed critics, active in the struggle to include more values into forest management. I do so by focusing on the power mechanisms within the Swedish forestry model and how these are resisted by the self-proclaimed critics. The findings stem from an analysis of the narratives of self-proclaimed critics as expressed in interviews. My analysis suggests that a vacuum of power and unclear responsibilities arose within Swedish forest management due to weak legislation and the abdication of responsibility on the part of the state. In the absence of clear rules and mandates, the historically powerful forest industry filled the vacuum by dominating the relationships and interactions with a plethora of other actors through superior resources and an appearance of expertise. I argue, based on the narratives, that power resides in the interactions which are found to be dominated by the forest industry resulting in a strengthening of the status quo which sees economic values trump alternative ones. The domination of relationships and the pursuit of economic growth contribute to explaining why Sweden fails to fulfil its environmental goals.

Main title:Exploring the mechanics of power in Swedish forest management
Subtitle:narratives by self-proclaimed critics’ and their understanding of the power dynamics transforming the Swedish forest landscape
Authors:Whitman, Max
Supervisor:Fischer, Anke
Examiner:Powell, Stina
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:power, power relations, forest, forest industry, environmental goals, narratives, values
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Forestry production
Nature conservation and land resources
Energy resources management
Deposited On:25 Jun 2020 06:44
Metadata Last Modified:26 Jun 2020 01:01

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