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Forskningsartikel2010Vetenskapligt granskad

Swedish forest commons - A matter of governance?

Keskitalo, Carina; Holmgren, Eva; Lidestav, Gun


Around 100 years ago, when Crown land in the interior of northern Sweden was privatized, part of the forest and was set aside as forest commons. Today, there are 33 such forest commons jointly managed and owned in common mainly by private forest owners. The forest commons may be looked upon as a means by which the state controls the production of and returns from the forests belonging to small and less affluent forest owners. Further, an attempt has been made to use the forests as a tool to move the self-interests of these small forest owners closer to providing public goods. Forest commons thus hold a contested status, as private lands under public control and as a partly deregulated form of ownership. This paper examines the extent to which forest commons are currently managed directly by the government, comparing this with the general trend in forest policy towards governance and less prescriptive measures, which often take account of market and participative goals. Building upon Appelstrand (2007), this paper describes the major policy instruments relevant for forest commons from 1861 to 2005. We conclude that direct government management remains dominant, with the major legislation pertaining to forest commons dating back to the 1950s. While governance may seem to be inherent in the forest commons concept, the development of governance has not been fully realised given the relatively strict government-steered framework. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Forest common; Forest policies; Forest governance; Sweden

Publicerad i

Forest Policy and Economics
2010, Volym: 12, nummer: 6, sidor: 423-431