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Fjellborg, D. (2024). Strategies and Actions in Swedish Mining Resistance: Mapping Anti-Extraction Movements and Exploring How Their Interpretations of Socio-Political Context Shape Mobilization Against Mining Projects. (Doctoral dissertation). Luleå: Luleå University of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategies and Actions in Swedish Mining Resistance: Mapping Anti-Extraction Movements and Exploring How Their Interpretations of Socio-Political Context Shape Mobilization Against Mining Projects
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Strategier och agerande i svenskt gruvmotstånd : En kartläggning av motståndsrörelser och hur deras tolkningar av socio-politisk kontext formar mobilisering mot gruvprojekt
Abstract [en]

Across the world, the demand for minerals is steadily increasing. In Europe, the push for mining coincides with rising public mobilization against extraction projects, and mining-related conflicts will likely be a feature of Europe’s foreseeable future. To understand the trajectories of mining conflicts, and to find just ways of handling them, it is important to understand the strategies and actions of the networks of actors that oppose extraction projects, that is, anti-extraction movements. 

While previous research has primarily explored mining resistance in the Global South, our knowledge about mining resistance in Europe is lacking. I contribute to filling this gap by investigating anti-extraction movements in Sweden, a long-term producer of minerals. The aim of the thesis is thus to explore what strategies and actions anti-extraction movements in Sweden use and how and why they choose them. I use social movement theory and emphasize how choices of strategies and actions are shaped by the socio-political context in which movements are embedded. With the help of frame analysis and an interpretive research approach, I explore how movement actors’ interpretations of contextual opportunities and constraints shape their actions, thus contributing to the ongoing research debate about how surrounding societal actors and institutions influence movement agency. 

In four papers, building on an extensive document analysis and interviews with movement actors, I systematically map and analyse anti-extraction movements in Sweden and provide in-depth studies of selected cases. I ask two research questions: 1. What anti-extraction movements are there in Sweden, in what socio-political contexts are they embedded, and what actions have they taken? 2. How do anti-extraction movements’ goals and interpretations of contextual opportunities and constraints shape their strategies and actions?

The thesis presents the first comprehensive mapping of anti-extraction movements in Sweden and shows that mining resistance has increased across Sweden during the last two decades. My results reveal that movements use a wide range of actions, from civil disobedience and public demonstrations to litigation and political lobbying, and are composed of heterogeneous mixes of actors, including newly formed activist networks, organizations for farmers and Indigenous Sámi, and environmental organizations. Movements promote several visions for societal development, including environmental protection and sustainability, Sámi Indigenous rights and culture, and landowners’ rights and agriculture. In international comparison, the Swedish anti-extraction movements to a larger extent aim to influence political and legal actors and place less emphasis on project owners and corporate investors. 

Regarding how socio-political context shapes strategies and actions, my results indicate that movement actors’ interpretations of contextual opportunities do not always align with researchers’ understandings of what an opportunity is, thus producing unexpected actions. Movement actors’ interpretations of opportunities and constraints are found to be influenced by their goals, their comparisons of available options, their previous experiences, and their role in relation to other actors in the movement. 

My research shows that socio-political context often influences movement actors’ strategies and actions via their interpretations of opportunities and constraints for achieving goals. My results also suggest that socio-political context shapes movement actors’ strategies and actions by presenting them with appropriate ways to act in society. Lastly, my studies indicate that additional factors, including movement actors’ action traditions and identities, resources, and the diffusion of strategies, can influence movement actors’ interpretations of contextual opportunities and strategies and actions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2024
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
social movement strategy, tactics, structure and agency, opportunities and constraints, goals, mining, frame analysis
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-105132 (URN)978-91-8048-538-8 (ISBN)978-91-8048-539-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-06-13, A109, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-17 Created: 2024-04-16 Last updated: 2024-05-15Bibliographically approved
Fjellborg, D. (2023). Banging on Closed Doors or Beating the Drum? Social Movements’ Interpretations of Opportunities in Legal Appeal Processes. Social Movement Studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Banging on Closed Doors or Beating the Drum? Social Movements’ Interpretations of Opportunities in Legal Appeal Processes
2023 (English)In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Social movements and interest groups in Europe are increasingly using litigation as a form of legal mobilization in their campaigns. Current literature often depicts this as a result of favourable opportunities in movements’ legal contexts, with activists responding to rising prospects of legal success. This comparative study of fifteen cases of mobilizations against mineral exploration projects in Sweden explores a puzzle in relation to this view: Why do movements frequently litigate even when the prospects of legal success seem non-existent? Using frame analysis within a multi-institutional politics (MIP) approach, this study explores how movements interpret opportunities in appeal processes linked to mineral exploration projects. While confirming that the prospect of legal success is a relevant motivator in several cases, the results also indicate that some movements interpret the court as a democratic arena, presenting opportunities to mobilize adherents and signal popular resistance to policy makers and extractive companies. These diverging interpretations of the court are tentatively connected to organizational needs for mobilizing adherents, previous experiences of litigating and available institutional logics in society. Building upon the MIP approach, this study introduces the idea that the democratic understanding of the appeal process signifies a ‘creative infringement’. A democratic institutional logic is imported into the court, an arena typically dominated by an institutional legal-bureaucratic logic. Movements’ increasing use of litigation may thus be driven not only by goals of legal success, but also by creative reinterpretations of legal processes as arenas in which goals of popular participation and democracy may be achieved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023
Keywords
Social movement strategy, structure and agency, frame analysis, multi-institutional politics, legal mobilization, creative infringement
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-95558 (URN)10.1080/14742837.2023.2171386 (DOI)2-s2.0-85147718425 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2023-02-08 Created: 2023-02-08 Last updated: 2024-04-16
Fjellborg, D., Lindahl, K. B. & Zachrisson, A. (2022). What to do when the mining company comes to town? Mapping actions of anti-extraction movements in Sweden, 2009–2019. Resources policy, 75, Article ID 102514.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What to do when the mining company comes to town? Mapping actions of anti-extraction movements in Sweden, 2009–2019
2022 (English)In: Resources policy, ISSN 0301-4207, E-ISSN 1873-7641, Vol. 75, article id 102514Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on the actions of anti-extraction movements has primarily comprised single-case studies in developing countries. Despite increasing mobilization and policy objectives to increase mineral extraction in the EU, we have little systematic knowledge of forms of resistance in a European setting. This paper exhaustively and comparatively maps anti-extraction movements in Sweden and investigates how movements' actions relate to their socio-political contexts. Sixteen place-specific movements are identified and studied using frame analysis and political process theory. The results suggest that anti-extraction movements occur across Sweden and that their socio-political contexts differ in access to indigenous rights institutions, project owner engagement, and support/opposition from host municipalities and national interest groups. The frame analysis indicates that movements share several goals, sometimes interpret similar contexts differently, and that differences in actions reflect differences in interpretations of contextual opportunities. Our results show that anti-extraction movements in Sweden involve diverse actors, including environmental interest groups, new networks mobilizing against extraction projects, indigenous Sami organizations, farmers' organizations, and landowners. Broad repertoires of actions, including civil disobedience, are used to influence the public, permitting processes, political actors at various scales, and project owners. Differences in socio-political contexts often align with movements’ interpretations of opportunities and relate with differences in action choices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022
Keywords
Social movement, Mining, Conflict, Political process theory, Frame analysis, Repertoires of contention
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-88624 (URN)10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102514 (DOI)000748009600002 ()2-s2.0-85121419370 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-01599
Note

Validerad;2022;Nivå 2;2022-01-01 (johcin)

Available from: 2021-12-30 Created: 2021-12-30 Last updated: 2024-04-16Bibliographically approved
Sandström, A., Morf, A. & Fjellborg, D. (2021). Disputed Policy Change: The Role of Events, Policy Learning, and Negotiated Agreements. Policy Studies Journal, 49(4), 1040-1064
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disputed Policy Change: The Role of Events, Policy Learning, and Negotiated Agreements
2021 (English)In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 49, no 4, p. 1040-1064Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores policy change in Swedish coastal and marine conservation, identifying advocacy coalition factors—focusing internal and external events, policy learning, and negotiated agreements—that explain divergent outcomes in disputed national park planning processes. A longitudinal study, covering three decades of three planning processes, indicates that all factors matter. External and internal events, combined with policy learning or negotiated agreements, constituted the main change pathways. We noted that events' influence on learning and agreements was facilitated by policy brokers and mediated through new venues and altered actor strategies. The findings indicated that competing coalitions' policy beliefs influenced the specific routes taken and underlined the centrality of governmental actors to different outcomes. The study illustrates how political conflicts occur and are addressed in environmental governance, generates insights critical to implementing international and national conservation policy, and builds theoretical knowledge of pathways to policy change in disputed policy processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2021
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-80385 (URN)10.1111/psj.12411 (DOI)000558084300001 ()2-s2.0-85089288433 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

Validerad;2021;Nivå 2;2021-11-09 (beamah)

Available from: 2020-08-12 Created: 2020-08-12 Last updated: 2023-09-04Bibliographically approved
Morf, A., Sandström, A., Söderström, S. & Fjellborg, D. (2021). Krokiga vägar mot marina nationalparker. Havsutsikt (2)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Krokiga vägar mot marina nationalparker
2021 (Swedish)In: Havsutsikt, no 2Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Havsmiljöinstitutet, 2021
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-89376 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

Godkänd;2022;Nivå 0;2022-05-31 (hanlid)

Available from: 2022-02-22 Created: 2022-02-22 Last updated: 2024-04-11Bibliographically approved
Sandström, A., Söderberg, C., Lundmark, C., Nilsson, J. & Fjellborg, D. (2020). Assessing and explaining policy coherence: A comparative study of water governance and large carnivore governance in Sweden. Environmental Policy and Governance, 30(1), 3-13
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing and explaining policy coherence: A comparative study of water governance and large carnivore governance in Sweden
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2020 (English)In: Environmental Policy and Governance, ISSN 1756-932X, E-ISSN 1756-9338, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 3-13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the relationship between different types of multi-level governance systems and policy coherence (i.e., uniformity of goals and rules) through a study of the governance systems for water and large carnivores in Sweden. The study objects represent multi-level governance systems for contested natural resources in the same national context, though in different policy areas and with substantial differences in institutional arrangements. We define the characteristics of each governance system through an institutional analysis of official records and compare their perceived ability to promote coherence through a statistical analysis of survey data. Our empirical results both support and problematize common ideas about how different institutional features relate to policy coherence in multi-level governance. The results clearly indicate that multi-level governance systems are challenged by conflicting goals and rules, both within and across governance systems, and that the capacity to address these difficulties is generally perceived as wanting in both types of systems. The results tentatively suggest that clashes with other governance systems are more prominent in polycentric and ecologically based systems, while internal goal and rule conflicts are more prevalent in centralized and more traditionally organized systems.

The findings contribute to our understanding of the quandaries associated with the design of new governance systems. The study also contributes important insights into what features to focus on in attempts to mitigate the downsides of different institutional arrangements in multi-level governance systems.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Keywords
Environmental governance, large carnivore management, multi-level governance, policy coherence, water management
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76522 (URN)10.1002/eet.1871 (DOI)000498261000001 ()2-s2.0-85075521150 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

Validerad;2020;Nivå 2;2020-02-21 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-10-26 Created: 2019-10-26 Last updated: 2023-09-04Bibliographically approved
Lindahl, K. B., Zachrisson, A., Wiklund, R., Matti, S. & Fjellborg, D. (2016). Fjällnära Gruvdrift?: Konflikter om vägar till hållbarhet. Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fjällnära Gruvdrift?: Konflikter om vägar till hållbarhet
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2016 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2016. p. 89
Series
Research report / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1528
National Category
History Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science; History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-60975 (URN)978-91-7583-725-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-12-08 Created: 2016-12-08 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved
Lindahl, K. B., Zachrisson, A., Wiklund, R., Matti, S., Fjellborg, D., Johansson, A. & Elenius, L. (2016). Konflikter om gruvetablering: Lokalsamhällets aktöreroch vägar till hållbarhet : slutrapport. Luleå: Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Konflikter om gruvetablering: Lokalsamhällets aktöreroch vägar till hållbarhet : slutrapport
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2016 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Gruvprospektering och gruvetablering kan ge upphov tilllokala konflikter. Syftet med den här studien är att undersökahur berörda aktörer och medborgare ser på fråganom framtida mineralutvinning och gruvetablering, vilketutrymme som finns för lokalt deltagande och inflytandei politik och regelverk, samt möjligheterna att hanteraeventuella konflikter med hjälp av dialog och samråd. Vihar analyserat tre gruvetableringsprocesser på tre olikaplatser i det fjällnära området: järnbrytning i Gállok/Kallak(Jokkmokks kommun), nickelutvinning i Rönnbäck/Rönnbäcken (Storumans kommun) samt guld, koppar ochjärnbrytning i Rakkuri (Kiruna kommun).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten, 2016. p. 107
Series
Länsstyrelsens rapportserie ; 2016.2
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61812 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-03 Created: 2017-02-03 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved
Fjellborg, D. & Beland Lindahl, K.Division of Labour in Swedish Mining Resistance: The Interplay between Legal Mobilization and Public Protests in Social Movements.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Division of Labour in Swedish Mining Resistance: The Interplay between Legal Mobilization and Public Protests in Social Movements
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

More knowledge is needed about how the design and implementation of legal processes shape the strategies and actions of social movements. We explore how movement actors’ interpretations of opportunities and constraints within legal processes shape their choices of strategies and actions. We particularly investigate how actors’ interpretations relate to their access to legal processes (i.e. legal standing) and to their understanding of opportunities in alternative action arenas in society, such as policy-making processes and street protests. We investigate an anti-extraction movement and its mobilization against a mining project in northern Sweden over eleven years. Using social movement theory and frame analysis, we explore the interpretations, strategies, and actions of movement actors who have or lack legal standing within the project’s permit process (i.e. legal insiders or outsiders). Key results indicate that action choices are shaped by how movement actors understand their opportunities in different societal arenas and by their traditions and interpretations of appropriate roles amongst other actors in the movement. To understand how legal standing shapes actions, we must acknowledge that actions are shaped by both a logic of consequences and a logic of appropriateness. Results also indicate that insiders’ legal engagement did not diminish outsiders’ use of public protests. On the contrary, outsiders’ motivation to use protests increased via a division of labour emerging in the movement, with actors specializing into either legal mobilization or protests. Integration of some movement actors into legal processes may not lead to a phasing out of protests in the growing resistance against mining in Europe.

Keywords
social movement strategy; tactics; legal mobilization; mining; protest; logic of appropriateness
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-105131 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-01599
Available from: 2024-04-16 Created: 2024-04-16 Last updated: 2024-04-16
Fjellborg, D.Understanding Diversification of Strategies and Actions in Swedish Mining Resistance – The Fanning-Out Effect of Goals and Contextual Opportunities.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Diversification of Strategies and Actions in Swedish Mining Resistance – The Fanning-Out Effect of Goals and Contextual Opportunities
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Europe is witnessing increasing protests against mining. Social movements mobilizing against mining, (i.e. anti-extraction movements) are typically heterogeneous actor networks using diverse actions to stop projects and promote alternative visions for societal development. I investigate two prominent anti-extraction movements in Sweden and explore how movement actors’ goals and interpretations of contextual opportunities shape their strategies and actions. I study actions over eleven years and use frame analysis to explore actors’ goals, interpretations, and strategies. Results show how diverse goals lead to action diversification in movements by prompting actors to relate to different policy areas, that is, issue-specific contexts. Actors’ previous experiences, informing retrospective reasoning, increased variation in their opportunity assessments. The study contributes to social movement theory by explicating how the content of goals shape strategies and actions, adding to such alternative explanations as traditions, diffusion, and resources. Understanding action diversification is important for handling increasing mining conflicts. 

Keywords
social movement strategy; tactics; mining resistance; frame analysis; goals; issue-specific opportunities
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-105130 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-01599
Available from: 2024-04-16 Created: 2024-04-16 Last updated: 2024-04-16
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-8529-3863

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