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  • 1.
    Bodin, Örjan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
    Sandström, Annica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Crona, Beatrice
    Stockholm University, Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Collaborative Networks for Effective Ecosystem-Based Management: A Set of Working Hypotheses2017In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 45, no 2, p. 289-314Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) represents a comprehensive approach to better govern the environment that also illustrates the collaborative trend in policy and public administration. The need for stakeholder involvement and collaboration is strongly articulated, yet how and for what purposes collaboration would be effective remains largely untested. We address this gap by developing and evaluating a set of hypotheses specifying how certain patterns of collaborations among actors affect their joint ability to accomplish EBM. Content analyses of management plans drawn from five EBM planning processes in Sweden are combined with analyses of the collaborative networks through which these plans have been developed. Our results indicate that system thinking and the ability to integrate across different management phases are favored by collaborations between different kinds of actors, and by project leaders being centrally located in the networks. We also find that dense substructures of collaboration increase the level of specificity in the plans in regards to explicating constraints on human activities. Having many collaborative ties does however not enhance the overall level of specificity. Our results also show that different network characteristics can give rise to similar EBM outcomes. This observed equifinality suggests there is no single blueprint for well-performing collaborative networks. 

  • 2.
    Carlsson, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Policy networks as collective action2000In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 502-520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An important contribution to the policy sciences, and to interorganizational research in particular, has been the introduction of the so-called policy network approach. Despite the fact that this approach has produced a multitude of concepts, it still lacks a theoretical scaffold. In this article it is argued that simply to refer to something called "network theory" is an unsatisfactory solution. It is suggested that one way of advancing the policy network approach is to apply collective action theory and explicitly regard different empirical appearances of network concepts as expressions of collective action. Six tentative building blocks of such a theory are suggested. it is further argued that the policy network approach would benefit from incorporation into a broader analytical framework such as the Institutional Analysis and Development framework. Finally, it is concluded that such an incorporation would advance our ability to understand the processes of policymaking and thus to fulfill one of the old commitments of policy analysis, namely to contribute to the refinement of policy making processes in society.

  • 3.
    Matti, Simon
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Sandström, Annica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    The rationale determining advocacy coalitions: Examining coordination networks and corresponding beliefs2011In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 385-410Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The contemporary trend within natural resource governance sees a strong increase in collaborative management. A successful turnout of these arrangements is, however, dependent upon the formation and characteristics of advocacy coalitions. Uncovering the rationale determining coalitions is therefore a key undertaking in policy analysis and the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) has been widely applied for this purpose. This article aspires to test several important hypotheses regarding the nature of coordination networks and the formation of coalitions, treating the ACF both as an inspiration and as a framework in need of further refinement. This is done in the context of a complex and conflict-ridden policy subsystem: the Swedish carnivore-management subsystem. The results indicate, firstly, that perceived belief correspondence, and not perceived influence, is the driving mechanism behind coordination; and, secondly, that the catalog of beliefs shared by actors within a coalition is composed by policy core beliefs, in particular, with a more normative content, while no connection between deep core beliefs and coordination is found.

  • 4.
    Sandström, Annica
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Carlsson, Lars
    The performance of policy networks: the relation between network structure and network performance2008In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 497-524Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The importance of policy networks has long been emphasized within the field of policy analysis. However, few attempts have been made to investigate the explanatory power of policy networks using the tools and theoretical concepts provided by social network analysis (SNA). This paper aims to address this need by determining if a relationship exists between the structural features of policy networks, their organizing capacities, and their performance. A comparative case study of four networks within the higher education policy sector confirms the assumption related to the existence of such a relation. It is proposed that an efficient and innovative policy network consists of a heterogeneous set of actors that are centrally and densely integrated. Furthermore, while the level of network heterogeneity is positively related to the function of resource mobilization in the process of policymaking, the level of centralized integration promotes the function of prioritizing. These findings are believed to contribute to our understanding of policymaking in contemporary society. The current paper indicates that a significant explanatory power exists in the concept of policy networks and that SNA is one way of advancing its possibilities.

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