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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Participate for Women's Sake? A Gender Analysis of a Swedish Collaborative Environmental Management Project

Westberg, Lotten; Powell, Stina


Collaborative approaches have become increasingly evident in policies governing environmental management. However, realizing these approaches has proven to be challenging. In this article we discuss why this is the case by using a gender-theoretical lens. By attending to prevailing norms of masculinity and femininity within Swedish environmental agencies, we gain understanding about what implications these norms have for working collaboratively. Our findings suggest that these organizations are gendered, leaving women administrators with lower status tasks, not in line with the traditional scientific expert roles valued in these organizations. The gender of administrators are thus both a cause and effect: The status of collaborative projects is low in the natural resource management organization, which leads to administrators having low status getting appointed these projects, which in turn reproduces the view of these projects as less important. Our findings contribute to the discussion on problems of realizing collaborative environmental policies.


environmental communication; environmental sociology; social theory; Europe; gender; integrated coastal zone management; multimethod approaches; natural resources-environmental sociology; qualitative analysis; participatory approaches

Published in

Society and Natural Resources
2015, volume: 28, number: 11, pages: 1233-1248

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Uppsala University

Associated SLU-program

Coastal and sea areas

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG5 Gender equality

UKÄ Subject classification

Gender Studies
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)