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Nätverksstyrning för en hållbar utveckling :en fallstudie av Energimyndighetens program Uthållig kommun 2003-2007

by Fell, Astrid, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
The view of networks has changed within the field of policy studies. Once they were considered as hampering the policy process, but today they are accepted as a legitimate policy instrument. The Swedish Government, for instance, makes use of networks to steer society. One attempt to do so is the Sustainable Municipality Programme launched by the Swedish Energy Agency in 2003. Five municipalities where selected to participate in this collaborative process to further sustainable energy policies. This thesis explores the potential of network governance theory as a model for describing policy making. A case study addressing three questions was conducted. Firstly, can the Sustainable Munici-pality Programme be described within the framework of network governance theory? Secondly, is this governance network successful in its struggle to achieve its goals? Thirdly, can this example of network governance further a discussion exploring a scenario where inter-municipality network governance might pose a challenge to the principle of local government? The first and second question is answered by focusing on four functions that the governance network should fulfil; to give priority to projects; to mobilize resources, to complete projects and, to evaluate the process. In order to answer the first question the case study focuses on the interaction within the governance network. Is the process organised in a fashion recognisable as network govern-ance, as an ideal type of coordination? The analysis shows that network governance theory provides an analytic framework well suited to shed light on the process. The analysis also shows that the three first functions were achieved. Through negotiations the network gave priority to different projects. The thesis focuses on three of these. The first project includes the education of maintenance person-nel. The second is a research project, investigating different actors' possibilities to plan for a more sustainable use of energy. The third project is a research project carried out within the field of physi-cal planning. The fourth function, evaluation, still poses a problem since the actors themselves are not content with the evaluation model they produced. In order to answer the third question the case study explores the notion of local government and how it can be safeguarded within a governance network. Two indicators are used to analyse this aspect of the process; the democratic anchorage of the governance network and the transparency of the process. The analysis shows that the process has been transparent and that local politicians have had an opportunity to meta govern the process. It is, however, undoubtedly so that the actors, or municipalities, gain influence over each other's policy processes. This causes discontent since local priorities get affected, sometimes negatively. In the end of 2007, four of the five municipalities decided to remain within the programme, or the governance network, for another three years. They are now joined by an additional 60 municipalities.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Luleå tekniska universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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