Critical infrastructures and the tragedy of the commons dilemma: Implications from institutional restructuring on reliability and safety

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Through the influence of neoliberal ideas, many critical infrastructures that used to be under public ownership have been opened up for market competition. Using the Swedish railway system as a case, this paper empirically explores whether such reforms have given rise to common-pool resource problems, and discusses possible implications. The results show that institutional restructuring has created challenges related to balancing the use of the infrastructure with a sufficient level of maintenance. The paper concludes that the main value of analysing critical infrastructures from the perspective of common-pool resources is the possibility of juxtaposing the way organizational and institutional interactions across scales generate both short-term gains and long-term negative side effects influencing reliability and safety.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Economic Geography


  • common-pool resource, critical infrastructure, deregulation, reliability, safety, tragedy of the commons
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Feb 11
Publication categoryResearch

Total downloads

No data available