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Research article2022Peer reviewed

Samråd: An Institutional Arrangement in the Context of Forestry and Reindeer Husbandry in Northern Sweden

Roos, Ulrika; Lidestav, Gun; Sandström, Stefan; Sandström, Per


In northern Sweden, forestry and reindeer husbandry overlap spatially and judicially. To mitigate conflicting objectives regarding land use, the concept of “samråd” has been introduced as a form of institutional arrangement of environmental politics. This study explores how stakeholders have interpreted this concept and corresponding processes from its first introduction in 1923 to 2019. Language, including the cartographic language, is regarded as a mean for argumentation. Results show that the understandings and expectations of samråd differ among actors in terms of procedure, issues, efficiency and outcomes. As compared to the lexical definition and understanding, the samråd practice has merely become an instrument for information exchange before decisions are made, rather than a functional arrangement for conflict mitigation. This ambiguity is in parallel to a deregulated forest policy and a watered-down meaning of samråd in public administration. However, the transformative potential of participatory mapping suggests a new way of thinking about power relations in land use matters within the framework of samråd.


consultation; environmental politics; indigenous land use; participatory mapping; power

Published in

International Forestry Review
2022, Volume: 24, number: 3, pages: 441-457