Advocacy Coalitions and Policy Outcomes: Explaining the Divergent Trajectories of Climate Policy in Finland and Sweden

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tuomas YLA-ANTTILA, University of Helsinki, Finland
Antti GRONOW, University of Helsinki, Finland
Marcus CARSON, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
Christofer EDLING, Lund University, Sweden
It is often thought that the corporatist Nordic welfare states are exemplary in their environmental policies. While this does hold true for Sweden, Finland was labeled “a failing ecostate” by a recent study due to its regressive environmental policy performance, particularly in the policy domain of climate change. Two very similar Nordic corporatist polities end up with very different climate policy outcomes. What explains this difference?

This paper investigates the proposition, drawn from the Advocacy Coalition Framework that a key determinant of policy output is the network constellation of organized actors in the climate change policy domain, and the power relations between the different coalitions.

We use network analysis of original data from a survey of key organizations in climate policy in the two countries (N=192) to discern the advocacy coalitions in each country, and investigate their interconnectedness, perceived influence, resources and beliefs.

We find that in Finland, the network is dominated by the well-connected and resourceful Economy Coalition, consisting of business and labor peak organizations, the largest political parties and government bodies. The Ecology Coalition, consisting mostly of NGOs, is relatively isolated and weak. In Sweden, the Ecology Coalition is much more resourceful, and includes not only NGOs, but also influential research institutes, ministries and businesses. The Economy Coalition, in contrast, is relatively weak. We discuss to which extent the diverging policy outcomes can be explained by these differences in the policy networks, and to which extent other factors are at play.