Putting out Fires: A Multiple Streams Analysis

What happens after we put out the (forest) fire? Are we prepared for the next one? This project will investigate whether and how crisis preparedness and management, as a policy sector at the local level in Sweden, adapts to the occurrence of large forest fires.

Utbränd skog

Focusing events, such as forest fires, tend to direct the various publics’ (and thus the policymakers’) attention to the perceived problem. However, crisis management is a ‘policy without a public’ receiving little attention from citizens except when emergencies occur. Questions that emerge concern the event in itself, the actors involved in formulating crisis management policy; how they frame the forest fires—in environmental, economic, or social equity terms; to whom crisis management is geared, and whether there have been failed attempts to effect change.

The Multiple Streams Approach (MSA) gives us the tools to investigate the agents, the institutional context, and the focusing event (the forest fires) as part of the policy making process. We will test (and refine) the theory in three Swedish municipalities in sequential fashion concluding with a comparative study: Sala municipality in the county of Västmanland, Ljusdal municipality in the county of Gävleborg, and Härjedalen municipality in the county of Jämtland. Data from this study will be used to achieve the main purpose of the proposed project, which is to understand the processes under which change occurs in crisis management at the local level.


Formas logotyp