Political solutions within one problem area often breed contradictions and controversies, and can sometimes even lead to the creation of whole new problem areas that, in turn, become the focus of political attention. Rarely has this dialectic been as evident as in the field of environmental politics. The creation of modern institutions for environmental governance in the 1960s have been described by environmental historian Lars J Lundgren as the discovery of a new “continent of problems”. In my research, I study the often conflictual movement between politics and society in relation to state regulation of the environment.
I analyse how the state’s approach to the environment gives rise to value conflicts at different geographical and institutional levels, and how such conflicts in turn drive institutional change. I have studied, among other things, the politicisation of mineral extraction in Sweden during the 21st century, ideological and political aspects of negative emissions technologies, the controversial political issue of high-speed rail, and wind power establishments.