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Striving for Sustainable Development and the Coordinating Role of the Central Government: Lessons from Swedish Housing Policy
University of Luleå, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 8, 827- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Housing plays an important role in the development of welfare policies and also often in achieving sustainability goals. There exists, however, implementation gaps between policies and practices in urban development and housing. Here it should be possible to draw lessons from policy implementations in the past. In this article we explore the strategies of the Swedish central government in implementing a social housing policy in the mid-20th century. The policy was successfully implemented in that it resulted in the rapid expansion and modernisation of the Swedish apartment stock in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and acute housingshortages and poor housing standards were overcome. The main lesson learned from the Swedish case study is the critical role of the central government in implementation through the strategic coordination of policy aims, instruments, stakeholders and interests throughout the implementation process. Although the central government could have used hard, almost authoritarian policy instruments to force the realisation of the new policy, it mainly used soft policy tools and focused on coordination. In the contemporary networked governance setting, the central government, like no other player, still has the potential to guide and coordinate implementation processes for the realization of sustainable housing visions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2016. Vol. 8, no 8, 827- p.
Keyword [en]
housing; central government; policy strategies; sustainability; historical lessons; Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131709DOI: 10.3390/su8080827ISI: 000382452900126OAI: diva2:1010246
Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2016-11-02

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Wihlborg, Elin
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