Policy Entrepreneurship and Policy Transfer: Flood Risk Governance in Northern Sweden

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Central to policies relating to risk governance at the regional and local levels is the interaction between the public and private sectors also referred to as networked governance. At the same time, the role of political actors in general and policy entrepreneurs in particular, in terms of policy change, has gained considerable traction in recent policy scholarship. The purpose of this study was to investigate the change in governance arrangements resulting in the formation of a coordination network in regional flood risk management-the first of its kind in Sweden. Our research is guided by the following questions: first, would the policy change (the establishment of the networks)have taken place if a policy entrepreneur were not part of the policy transfer process? Second, what is the role of policy entrepreneurship in the implementation of the policy after its nationwide adoption? Third, what other factors played a role in the variation of the results in the implemented policy that is, the enforced networks? We find the role of a policy entrepreneur key in the policy transfer from the regional to the national level. In order to investigate the resultant networks, we draw from B. Guy Peters (1998) and his conceptualization of factors which affect the politics of coordination. In addition to the presence of a policy entrepreneur, we compare: (i) pluriformity of network members;(ii) member interdependence; (iii) redundancy of structures, and (iv) degree of formality (in terms of meetings). Our findings suggest that entrepreneurs contribute to the variation in the functionality of the enforced river groups, though other factors play a significant role as well.Most importantly, perhaps, we did not identify entrepreneurs in any of the river groups which were not functional.

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