Göta River in Gothenburg.
Photo: Johan Wingborg

Overcoming large scale collective action problems in an upstream- downstream setting: A panel-based survey experiment with politicians and citizens along the Göta River water system

Research project
Active research
Project period
2020 - 2022
Project owner
Department of Political Science

Short description

This project contributes to one of the major political science puzzles– the mechanisms behind large-scale collective action problems, and how they can be overcome. We focus on a particularly challenging collective action problem arising when actors are located upstreams or downstreams along a water system. To what extent, and by which mechanisms, is cooperation and coordination in upstream-downstream situations possible? The study consists of survey experiments with politicians and citizens in municipalities along the Göta River in Sweden. We investigate what factors affect upstream and downstream actors’ willingness to set aside their short-term interests and cooperate in order to manage risks threatening the production of safe drinking water. The project contributes with knowledge on the conditions for sustainable water management.