A narrative perspective on institutional work in environmental governance – insights from a beach nourishment case study in Sweden

Lotte E. Bontje, Sharlene L. Gomes, Zilin Wang, Jill H. Slinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Institutional work offers a promising lens for understanding institutional change, focusing on the efforts of actors in creating, maintaining or disrupting institutions. In this paper, we explore the capacity of a narrative approach to provide insights on institutional work, using a case study from the coast of Sweden. We identify four narratives that compete in the policy discourse regarding erosion and beach nourishment in the coastal province of Scania. The narratives reveal that actors hold different beliefs concerning the magnitude of the erosion problem, the division of responsibilities and the suitability of sand nourishment as a coastal protection measure. The narrative competition is considered reflective of past institutional discussions and ongoing institutional work in coastal management in Scania, confirming that narratives are used as sense-making and meaning-giving devices in institutional discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • beach nourishment
  • case study
  • coastal management
  • institutional work
  • narratives

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