Governance arrangements in the European forest sector: Shifts towards ‘new governance’ or maintenance of state authority?

Arnaud Sergent*, Bas Arts, Peter Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article analyzes the variety of governance arrangements in the forest sector by examining the situation in ten European countries. At the national level, governance arrangements in the forest sector are analysed as a specific set of ideas, rules and relationships that shape and steer the decision-making process and determine (i) the policy framework, (ii) the forms of authority and power distribution, and (iii) the mediation pattern and network relationships. The study reveals that network governance, new policy instruments and ideational innovation have definitely emerged in the European forest sector, but, at its core, state forestry still dominates. That finding puts the shift from government to governance into perspective as well as the extent to which new forestry discourses are being put into practice. The article concludes that recent (gradual) changes in governance arrangements in the forest sector result from macro political trends, such as global and European discourses and guidelines on sustainability and good governance, on the one hand, and from the maintenance of the strategic key position of national states in European forest policies on the other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-976
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018



  • Forest policy
  • Governance
  • Networks
  • Power

Cite this