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  • 1.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Banging on Closed Doors or Beating the Drum? Social Movements’ Interpretations of Opportunities in Legal Appeal Processes2023In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Strategies and Actions in Swedish Mining Resistance: Mapping Anti-Extraction Movements and Exploring How Their Interpretations of Socio-Political Context Shape Mobilization Against Mining Projects2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    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.

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  • 3.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Understanding Diversification of Strategies and Actions in Swedish Mining Resistance – The Fanning-Out Effect of Goals and Contextual OpportunitiesManuscript (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. 

  • 4.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Beland Lindahl, Karin
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Division of Labour in Swedish Mining Resistance: The Interplay between Legal Mobilization and Public Protests in Social MovementsManuscript (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.

  • 5.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Lindahl, Karin Beland
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Zachrisson, Anna
    Department of Political Science, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden; Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden.
    What to do when the mining company comes to town? Mapping actions of anti-extraction movements in Sweden, 2009–20192022In: Resources policy, ISSN 0301-4207, E-ISSN 1873-7641, Vol. 75, article id 102514Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 6.
    Kyllönen, Katri-Maaria
    et al.
    Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland.
    Kirchner, Stefan
    Government Advisor, Wiesbaden, Germany.
    Poelzer, Gregory
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Lesser, Pamela
    Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Indigenous rights, social media and protest movements in Sápmi2024In: Mineral Economics, ISSN 2191-2203, E-ISSN 2191-2211Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Following the rush to minerals that would enable the shift towards green economies, the Sámi homeland is quickly becoming a crucible for the rising tensions surrounding the potential for new mining projects and large-scale infrastructure projects. The roots of these conflicts date back to the colonization of the north and continue in the present with the ongoing fight to maintain the Sámi heritage, language and culture, and increasingly to gain ownership of their lands. What initially began as activism within the legal system has, on occasions, transformed into outright protests. Social media increasingly plays a key role in disseminating the message of Indigenous protest among the protesters themselves and feeding into the national and international mainstream media. This shift occurs simultaneously with the construction of a dual narrative, constituted of both land-use protest and intensified demands for Indigenous rights, including, first and foremost, the right to self-determination. Drawing from Social media theory literature and the concepts of political opportunity structures (POS) and legal opportunity structures (LOS), this study argues that social media is one of the most essential tools used by Sámi activists to raise awareness about issue-based protests as well as to communicate demands for the right to self-determination when legal and political opportunity structures are not enough to support the cause. The power of social media lies in its accessibility, immediacy and visuality, which is illustrated in the article via specific examples of mining and railway construction protests in Finland and Sweden. Social media does not replace older tools, such as international human rights litigation, but their use can complement existing strategies for defending and advancing Indigenous rights. 

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  • 7.
    Lindahl, Karin Beland
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Zachrisson, Anna
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Wiklund, Roine
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Matti, Simon
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Fjällnära Gruvdrift?: Konflikter om vägar till hållbarhet2016Report (Other academic)
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    fulltext
  • 8.
    Lindahl, Karin Beland
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Zachrisson, Anna
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Wiklund, Roine
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Matti, Simon
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Johansson, Andreas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Elenius, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Konflikter om gruvetablering: Lokalsamhällets aktöreroch vägar till hållbarhet : slutrapport2016Report (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).

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    Fjällnära gruvdrift
  • 9.
    Morf, Andrea
    et al.
    Havsmiljöinstitutet, Sweden.
    Sandström, Annica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Söderström, Sara
    Södertörns högskola, Sweden.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Social Sciences.
    Krokiga vägar mot marina nationalparker2021In: Havsutsikt, no 2Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 10.
    Sandström, Annica
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Morf, Andrea
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Coalitions, learning and negotiation in the formation of new marine protection areas2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Sandström, Annica
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Morf, Andrea
    Swedish Institute for Marine Research and Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Disputed Policy Change: The Role of Events, Policy Learning, and Negotiated Agreements2021In: Policy Studies Journal, ISSN 0190-292X, E-ISSN 1541-0072, Vol. 49, no 4, p. 1040-1064Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 12.
    Sandström, Annica
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Söderberg, Charlotta
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Lundmark, Carina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Nilsson, Jens
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Fjellborg, Daniel
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Assessing and explaining policy coherence: A comparative study of water governance and large carnivore governance in Sweden2020In: Environmental Policy and Governance, ISSN 1756-932X, E-ISSN 1756-9338, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 3-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.  

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