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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Forests in a bioeconomy: bridge, boundary or divide?

Hodge, Daniel; Brukas, Vilis; Giurca, Alexandru


Bioeconomy is an emerging concept that is gaining momentum both in science and policy. Within the forest sector, the bioeconomy discourse is already shaping the international forest policy debate. Given the sector's importance for the national economy, this study investigates the perceptions of bioeconomy by forest owners, forest industry and ENGOs in Sweden. Drawing on cognitive and ideological dimensions of political bargaining, we analyse to which extent the bioeconomy serves as a bridging concept, a dividing concept or a boundary object. The results show that the bioeconomy is a broadly accepted concept, perceived as a natural extension of the Swedish forestry model. Results indicate that bioeconomy is well aligned with the key characteristics of a boundary object, that is, serving specific interests of different forest stakeholders under the generally accepted conceptual umbrella. We did not identify dividing effects of any substance. On the contrary, the interviews provide a strong indication that bioeconomy serves the Swedish forest sector as a bridging concept that brings closer rather than antagonises the different actors.


Bioeconomy; forest sector; Sweden; bridging concept; boundary object; frame analysis

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2017, Volume: 32, number: 7, pages: 582-587

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      Forest Science

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