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Putting out Fires: A Multiple Streams Approach

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.

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.


Project name





Region Gävleborg, Region Jämtland Härjedalen, Region Västmanland

RISE role in project


Project start






Project members


Supports the UN sustainability goals

11. Sustainable cities and communities
13. Climate action

Contact person

Kerstin Eriksson


+46 10 516 52 46

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