Coastal erosion and beach nourishment in Scania as issues in Swedish coastal policy

Lotte Bontje, Caroline Fredriksson, Zilin Wang, Jill Slinger

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This paper discusses the dynamics of coastal policy change in Sweden, using erosion and beach nourishments as an example. The Multiple Stream Model is a theoretical model on agenda setting and policy change developed by the political scientist John Kingdon (1984, 2003). This paper applies Kingdon’s model in describing and explaining coastal policy dynamics regarding coastal erosion in Sweden. Coastal protection is not a separate policy field in Sweden: interventions to protect the (common) coast form a component of spatial planning,which is largely the responsibility of the municipalities. Our analysis reveals that interventions to protect the coast are indeed organized at a local level, by landowners and the municipality, driven by a strong problemperception. This problem perception is articulated as a local voice seeking increased acknowledgement of the coastal erosion issue by the national government. Although the problem of coastal erosion has entered severalregional and national policy agendas over the last decade, and the first implementation of a large scale beach nourishment has been experienced positively, this has not yet led to the opening of ‘policy windows’ for significantchange on the regional and national levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-115
JournalVatten: tidskrift foer vattenvaard/journal of water management and research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Coastal policy
  • coastal management
  • erosion
  • beach nourishment
  • policy change
  • scania
  • Ystad
  • Kingdon's Multiple Stream model


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