The background of this case study is the research project “Society, resource management and ecology in the Baltic coastal areas”, which was initiated at Södertörns högskola in 2001. The project aims to compare different administrative regimes at a local level in Sweden, the Baltic States as well as in Poland. A comprehensive perspective in the project is the hypothesis that a globalised market economy creates investment pressure on the different coastal related natural resources. The development into a more flexible capital strongly connected to technological development directs questions towards the political processes and the administrative systems that are applied at different places. A constantly recurring argument in the debate on the effectiveness of environmental politics and its democratic character, is that the local, directly affected parties are the most suitable to shape the decisions in these questions. However, an obvious problem in the discussion is an undeveloped theoretical discussion around the decentralised decision-making, together with a too often particular analysis of environmental decisions and politics at a local level. In our point of view, it is necessary to combine more holistic analyses with more specific, where factors related to general societal changes are put in relation to the mechanisms of local decision-making.
In this case study, the coastal protection of the island of Ornö, within the municipality of Haninge in the southern parts of the archipelago of Stockholm, is reflected upon. The coastal protection in Sweden is not unique for Swedish legislation, even though it has had more far-reaching protective ambitions than in many other countries. This legislation has since the introduction in the 1950’s been a political controversy, and during the past years, more municipalities have tried to modify the coastal protection. Therefore, this is an interesting comparative object within an international perspective. The intention of this case study is to act as a pilot for more comprehensive comparative studies of coastal protection in the countries that are included in the above mentioned research project.
The case study is in Swedish only, with a short conclusion in English.