Law as a gate keeper for participation. The case of 3G infrastructure development in Sweden

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk


This article shows how participation on national, regional and local levels is regulated in the infrastructure of the third generation of mobile telephony, 3G, in Sweden. This regulated participation, the “law in books”, is compared to participation in practice, the “law in action” perspective in the sense of the outcome and functionality of these regulations. This includes the identification of inconsistencies, complexities and benefits from a participatory perspective. Questions asked are of the type: Who can participate and in what capacity? What issues are included/excluded and how is this done? Law functions as a gatekeeper to participation in this sense.

To be able to empirically answer these questions a set of data consisting of ca 250 building permits in the County of Blekinge between 2001 and 2005 is used, in addition to the legal regulations, preparatory work and case law and two national municipal questionnaires regarding building permit praxis from 2003. Much of the data was collected within a MiSt study concerning sustainability issues of the 3G development (Larsson 2008) but has been complemented for the purpose of focusing on participative aspects in this article. Legal documents depict existing law and the Blekinge data, as well as other data, shows its application.

The infrastructure for 3G has been under development in Sweden since late 2000. Following from the so called beauty contest four operators within three years were to build competing systems to cover 99,98 percent of the population by the end of 2003, giving the administrative system an extreme challenge. Issues widely debated has been the alleged hazardousness of the electromagnetic radiation from the base stations and the public’s possibility to affect where the bases stations are to be put up, which brings the participative aspects of the 3G infrastructure development into focus. The assessment of the system, the several thousands of base stations’ impact on the environment, has been made one base station at a time as the operators apply to put up a mast.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Juridik och samhälle


Titel på värdpublikationParticipative aspects of law: a socio-legal perspective
RedaktörerMatthias Baier
FörlagLund University: Sociology of Law
VolymLund studies in sociology of law, vol. 31
StatusPublished - 2009
Peer review utfördNej


VolymLund studies in sociology of law, vol. 31
ISSN (tryckt)1403-7246

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Matthias Baier (red.), 2009, Lund University: Sociology of Law. 190 s. (Lund studies in sociology of law; vol. 31)

Forskningsoutput: Bok/rapportAntologi (redaktör)

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