This article analyses four main models of participation in Swedish natural resource management and assesses strengths and weaknesses of one model (participation in physical/spatial planning) based on empirical studies of coastal resource conflicts in two Swedish west coast municipalities. In comparison to other administrative and planning procedures, physical planning offers possibilities to coordinate land and water management across sectors and resources and to broaden stakeholder participation. Local influence on coastal management increases with participation beyond the statutory minimum requirements, although management frameworks and practice of participation need to be developed further. Besides educating professionals and experimenting with combinations of existing procedures, in the long run an adaptation of legislation to the requirements of integrated and sustainable coastal management will be necessary.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2