Transitions to adaptive approaches to water management and governance in Sweden

Publication review

Centre researchers Per Olsson and Victor Galaz have contributed to the new book “Water Policy Entrepreneurs: A Research Companion to Water Transitions around the Globe".

The book is a theoretically and empirically grounded analysis of the management of water resources, one of the world´s most pressing current problems.

One of the countries is Sweden which is featured in Olsson and Galaz´ chapter entitled “Transitions to adaptive approaches to water management and governance in Sweden".

The chapter, as well as the whole book, focuses on transitions — instances of really major shifts in policy. As such it is very timely now when new challenges, such as climate change and loss of ecosystem services, force water policy makers to reconsider many aspects of their previous knowledge base.

- In our chapter we use the lens of ‘resilience´ to highlight some of the major challenges facing conventional management approaches. We focus on the capacity of institutions and broader governance mechanisms to deal with uncertainty and abrupt change in social—ecological systems, Per Olsson and Victor Galaz say.

The second part of their chapter looks at the social and ecological dynamics that lead to shifts in policy to adaptive governance approaches. Here, they review the mental and institutional barriers to change, and strategies for moving towards new flexible forms of governance that secure the capacity of ecosystems to generate essential ecosystem services for human well-being.


Link to centre authors: Galaz, Victor, Olsson, Per
Publication info: Olsson, P., Galaz, V. 2009. Transitions to adaptive water management and governance in Sweden. In Understanding Transitions in Water Management. D. Huitema, S. Meijerink (eds.). Edward Elgar Publishing.


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