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Biogas as a boundary object for policy integration - the case of Stockholm
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies. Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Biogas Research Center.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 98, 185-193 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Policy integration between autonomous policy sectors is a tool for managing interdependent technical systems to avoid suboptimization. Biogas, regarded as a renewable energy carrier usable in the energy and transport systems, is produced from organic material such as municipal organic waste (MOW). It is connected to a number of systems and policy sectors, making biogas management an instructive case for studying policy integration processes. Swedish biogas production has increased in recent years, and in the Stockholm region there has been enormous interest in biogas production for vehicle use since the early 2000s. In this paper biogas will be discussed in the perspective that it is or has potential to be a vital part of three systems: waste, energy, and transportation. The aim is to analyse whether policy integration occurs between the systems and to explore if boundary objects can play a role when understanding policy integration processes. In examining the biogas development process, regional policy documents and interviews with stakeholders in the biogas process are used. The results indicate consensus among regional actors that biogas should be used in vehicles and that MOW should be collected for this purpose, indicating congruence of understanding of biogas. Biogas functions as a boundary object in these cases and contributes to high policy integration between the energy and waste systems. Despite consensus that biogas should be used in the transport system, there is little policy integration between the energy and transport sectors. The policy sectors of transport infrastructure and spatial planning are not concerned with fuel or biogas issues. Public transport policy focuses on the use of biogas for their vehicles, but even if biogas serves as a boundary object it is not developing into policy integration processes. The conclusion is that biogas development has resulted in integrated policymaking between the energy and waste sectors and biogas has served as a strong boundary object which has spurred that development. Between the energy and transport sectors there is little policy integration, and biogas is not a boundary object in the cases of transport infrastructure and spatial planning policy sectors. What this case shows is that if there is a lack of presence of a boundary object it suggests no preconditions for policy integration processes to start.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2015. Vol. 98, 185-193 p.
Keyword [en]
Transport system; Energy system; Policy integration; Boundary object; Regional policy
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120150DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.10.042ISI: 000356194300019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120150DiVA: diva2:841523
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Energy Agency

Available from: 2015-07-13 Created: 2015-07-13 Last updated: 2016-08-23
In thesis
1. Policy Integration for Sustainable Transport Development: Case Studies of Two Swedish Regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Policy Integration for Sustainable Transport Development: Case Studies of Two Swedish Regions
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Integration av policyprocesser mellan sektorer och nivåer för hållbar transportutveckling : två fallstudier av svenska regioner
Abstract [en]

It has been argued that for the management of complex issues such as sustainability, which transcend traditional policy sectors and require coordination between several different interests and actors, policymaking depends upon collaboration and integration processes between different sectors and tiers of government. The overall aim of this thesis is therefore to study how and why (or why not) policy integration processes are being developed in regional policymaking and what this means for the achievement of sustainable transport. The thesis consists of two separate qualitative case studies of policymaking in two Swedish regions, one representing a least likely case and the other a most likely case of policy integration. The focus has been on the organizational actors involved in policymaking processes for the regional transport system. For the general discussion the theoretical framework of policy integration, complemented by the analytical concepts of policy logics, organizational identities and boundary object are used. The findings are presented in four articles. An overall conclusion is that policy integration processes do not necessarily result in policy for sustainable transport. If policy integration becomes a goal in itself and the same as joint policy, it risks neglecting sustainable values and becoming the smallest common denominator that a number of actors can agree on. For developing sustainable transport solutions, collaboration for the coordination of policy may be beneficial, but the aim of such processes should not be joint policy.

Abstract [sv]

För att beslut och riktlinjer ska kunna utformas så att de leder till lösningar av komplexa frågor, såsom hållbar utveckling, anses de behöva hanteras i samverkan mellan flertalet berörda sektorer och beslutsfattande nivåer. Det är dessa samverkansprocesser, beskrivna som integration under policy processer, som den här avhandlingen analyserar. Syftet är att studera om och hur integrerade regionala policyprocesser förekommer, hur de utvecklas samt deras betydelse för att åstadkomma ett hållbarare transportsystem. Detta undersöks genom kvalitativa fallstudier av två olika svenska regioner som representerar ett minst och ett mest troligt fall av integration av policy. Fallstudierna görs i regionerna Stockholms län och Västra Götalands län. Dessa två fall representerar dessutom två helt olika typer av regionala organisationer, vilket gör att de utgör underlag till, inte bara en diskussion om hållbara transporter, utan också om utvecklingen av den svenska regionala förvaltningsnivån. För analys används teori kring integration av policy och tre huvudsakliga analytiska begreppsansatser: policylogiker, organisationsidentiteter och gränsobjekt. Resultaten presenteras i fyra separata artiklar och dessa diskuteras tillsammans i den inledande kappan. I studien konstateras att integration av policysektorer och förvaltningsnivåer inte nödvändigtvis leder till transportlösningar som är mer hållbara. Beslut om en gemensam policy över sektorer och nivåer riskerar bli urvattnad eftersom det är många aktörer som ska komma överens. Samverkan för att samordna olika mål och intressen visar sig i huvudsak vara viktigt för att styra mot ett hållbart transportsystem, men det innebär inte att gemensam policy bör vara målet. Därutöver belyser studien hur olika organisationsformer på regional nivå påverkar regionala beslutsprocesser och hanteringen av hållbar transportutveckling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 85 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 688
Keyword
Policy integration, sustainable transport, region, policy, planning, public administration, institutional logics, organizational identity, boundary object, Sweden, Policy integration, samverkan, hållbara transporter, regional nivå, policy, planering, offentlig förvaltning, institutionella logiker, organisationsidentiteter, gränsobjekt
National Category
Environmental Management Environmental Sciences Transport Systems and Logistics Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Political Science Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130781 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-130781 (DOI)9789176857243 (Print) (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-09-23, VAL, Vallfarten, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically approved

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