On Legal Complexity: Between Law in Books and Planning in Practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This chapter addresses the difference between the intentions of the law and its application by using mobile telephony infrastructure development in Sweden as a case. Three possible pitfalls for policy management in general are concluded and analyzed. The first pitfall deals with legal complexity, which may be a result of piecemeal changes to the governing legal bodies over a longer time and is here argued to be of relevance for issues of public participation and access to justice. Another problematic pitfall concerns when law is internally contradictory without any clear hierarchy, which is exemplified below. The third possible pitfall, which often is a point of focus in sociology of law, concerns when extra-legal factors interfere in the legal decision-making without this being pronounced or acknowledged. This means that economy and politics can affect the application of law to the extent that legal security and predictability is jeopardized. These three possible pitfalls in policy represent issues of general character in the legal government of land use and spatial planning, and are here analysed from a socio-legal perspective.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • Law and Society


  • Law in books and law in action, Infrastructure, 3G mobile telephony, Planning, legal complexity, sociology of law
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial and Legal Norms: towards a socio-legal understanding of normativity
EditorsMatthias Baier
ISBN (Print)9781409453437
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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