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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Governance arrangements in the European forest sector: Shifts towards 'new governance' or maintenance of state authority?

Sergent, Arnaud; Arts, Bas; Edwards, Peter


This article analyzes the variety of governance arrangements in the forest sector by examining the situation in ten European countries. At the national level, governance arrangements in the forest sector are analysed as a specific set of ideas, rules and relationships that shape and steer the decision-making process and determine (i) the policy framework, (ii) the forms of authority and power distribution, and (iii) the mediation pattern and network relationships. The study reveals that network governance, new policy instruments and ideational innovation have definitely emerged in the European forest sector, but, at its core, state forestry still dominates. That finding puts the shift from government to governance into perspective as well as the extent to which new forestry discourses are being put into practice. The article concludes that recent (gradual) changes in governance arrangements in the forest sector result from macro political trends, such as global and European discourses and guidelines on sustainability and good governance, on the one hand, and from the maintenance of the strategic key position of national states in European forest policies on the other. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Forest policy; Governance; Power; Networks

Published in

Land Use Policy
2018, Volume: 79, pages: 968-976

      SLU Authors

    • Edwards, Peter

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Victoria University of Wellington

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Public Administration Studies

    Publication Identifiers


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