Policy integration for sustainable development: Agenda 2030 meets Region Skåne

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: In an effort to promote sustainable development work in Region Skåne, the regional government seeks to integrate Agenda 2030 into their Regional Development Strategy (RUS). This paper compares the two policies, using qualitative content analysis to problematize the prospects of policy integration. Applying theories from policy integration, policy transfer and policy diffusion, the analysis covers four dimensions of policy integration: the frame, the interactive, the substantive and the motivational dimension. Key insights from the study showcase that RUS’s international character opens it to integration: both policies share a humanistic worldview, emphasize liberal market dynamics, environmental improvement, increased sciences funding and expanded infrastructure. Simultaneously, they have differing understandings on matters of openness, governance and sustainable growth. There are also substantial challenges: Agenda 2030’s qualitative indicators for sustainable development need to be concretized into the local context of Skåne. Pressing deadlines regarding Agenda 2030’s environmental ambitions must be assessed according to Skåne’s ability to match them. Lastly, the highly competitive character of RUS should be weighed according to what is best for sustainable development on a global level. The thesis concludes that policy integration would not resolve the imbalance between the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development in Region Skåne.

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