Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Place Perceptions and Controversies over Forest Management: Exploring a Swedish Example

Beland Lindahl, Karin; Baker, Susan; Waldenström, Cecilia


This article explores the role of place perceptions in controversies over forest management. A neo-Durkheimian approach to frame analysis is used to explore actors' perceptions of places, forests and policy. This is combined with an examination of actors' varying capacity to influence policy-making using an interpretive policy analysis framework. Empirically, the analysis investigates a controversy over natural resource management in Jokkmokk municipality, northern Sweden. The research draws upon qualitative data collected from a variety of state, economic and social actors. It shows how a systematic analysis of place-related frames can elucidate the policy-making process. It demonstrates how conflicting place meanings divide actors, their frames and interpretive communities. However, social organization and loyalties are also important in shaping actions. The analytical framework offers a sociologically based approach to exploring the role of place perceptions in natural resource politics. It facilitates in-depth understanding of policy-making and may thus contribute to strengthening efforts to manage conflicts and to develop equitable governance systems for natural resource management.


place perceptions; forest conflicts; frame analysis; interpretive policy analysis

Published in

Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
2013, Volume: 15, number: 2, pages: 201-223