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Fragmentation, commodification and responsibilisation in the governing of flood risk mitigation in Sweden

Becker, Per LU (2020) In Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the governing of flood risk mitigation in advanced liberal society, through an in-depth Swedish case study. By combining social network analysis and genealogy, this paper investigates who is involved, how they organise, their modes of thinking, how they mitigate flood risk, as well as how such regime of practises have come into being. The findings suggest dominant rationalities that reduce the actual complexity of flood risk in spatial and temporal terms to fit the legal and institutional environment. The resulting fragmentation is associated with a commodification of flood risk mitigation, in which actors expect to be able to procure modules of safety and sustainability on... (More)

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the governing of flood risk mitigation in advanced liberal society, through an in-depth Swedish case study. By combining social network analysis and genealogy, this paper investigates who is involved, how they organise, their modes of thinking, how they mitigate flood risk, as well as how such regime of practises have come into being. The findings suggest dominant rationalities that reduce the actual complexity of flood risk in spatial and temporal terms to fit the legal and institutional environment. The resulting fragmentation is associated with a commodification of flood risk mitigation, in which actors expect to be able to procure modules of safety and sustainability on the market. This commodification materialises in a vacuum of responsibilisation, when obligations are imposed without commensurate guidelines. These processes of fragmentation, commodification, and responsibilisation are core constituents of neoliberalisation, which is clearly shaping the governing of flood risk mitigation even in Sweden; a bastion of the strong welfare state. Regardless of the notable individual capacities of the involved actors, systemic constraints in the governmentality have generated these detrimental processes in the face of overwhelming complexity. These systemic constraints must be removed or overcome for the governing of flood risk mitigation to match the complexity of flood risk in the catchment area. This paper thus provides input that can inform policy changes for a more sustainable future in the face of unprecedented change.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
commodification, flood risk, fragmentation, governing, Governmentality
in
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85087782339
ISSN
2399-6544
DOI
10.1177/2399654420940727
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4d5a45fd-7d9e-486f-a0f1-1983c565ee2b
date added to LUP
2020-07-23 08:16:04
date last changed
2020-07-29 06:16:53
@article{4d5a45fd-7d9e-486f-a0f1-1983c565ee2b,
  abstract     = {<p>The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the governing of flood risk mitigation in advanced liberal society, through an in-depth Swedish case study. By combining social network analysis and genealogy, this paper investigates who is involved, how they organise, their modes of thinking, how they mitigate flood risk, as well as how such regime of practises have come into being. The findings suggest dominant rationalities that reduce the actual complexity of flood risk in spatial and temporal terms to fit the legal and institutional environment. The resulting fragmentation is associated with a commodification of flood risk mitigation, in which actors expect to be able to procure modules of safety and sustainability on the market. This commodification materialises in a vacuum of responsibilisation, when obligations are imposed without commensurate guidelines. These processes of fragmentation, commodification, and responsibilisation are core constituents of neoliberalisation, which is clearly shaping the governing of flood risk mitigation even in Sweden; a bastion of the strong welfare state. Regardless of the notable individual capacities of the involved actors, systemic constraints in the governmentality have generated these detrimental processes in the face of overwhelming complexity. These systemic constraints must be removed or overcome for the governing of flood risk mitigation to match the complexity of flood risk in the catchment area. This paper thus provides input that can inform policy changes for a more sustainable future in the face of unprecedented change.</p>},
  author       = {Becker, Per},
  issn         = {2399-6544},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space},
  title        = {Fragmentation, commodification and responsibilisation in the governing of flood risk mitigation in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2399654420940727},
  doi          = {10.1177/2399654420940727},
  year         = {2020},
}