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One Step Forward and One Step Back. State regulation of environment and sustainable development through the use of the Education Act, school curricula and syllabuses (1990-2010)

  • Per Wickenberg
  • Ulf Leo
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Publication/Series: Sociology of Law Research Report 2015:1
Volume: No 1
Document type: Book
Publisher: Sociology of Law, Lund University

Abstract english

The aim of this sociology of law-orientated article is to analyse and describe legislative and regulatory processes concerning the task given to schools focusing on environment and sustainable development. We are describing the policy-making processes in this field from 1990 to 2011. The study involves key interviews and

content analysis of national policy documents as well as legal sources, in order to describe and categorize legal norms that society, through its political and administrative institutions, highlight in school activities.

The article takes a starting point in a model developed by Lindensjö and Lundgren, who used the terms arena of formulation and arena of realization, to illustrate what is happening with policy at national level. The policy-making processes and their

results are in the end interpreted and understood through a perspective based on the concept of inertia and path dependence. It is evident as a result that the legal changes on the national political level are not hindering the continuing policy-making

development and enactment of sustainable development on the professional administrative national arena.


  • Law and Society
  • Sociology of law
  • law
  • legal norms
  • social and professional norms
  • school
  • education
  • education for sustainable development
  • environment
  • environmental education
  • act on education
  • curriculum
  • syllabus
  • path dependence
  • inertia
  • historical sociology
  • supporting structures


  • Normforskningsprojektet, Sociology of Law, Lund University
  • Normforskningsprojektet-lup-obsolete
  • ISBN: 978-91-7267-375-5
Per Wickenberg
E-mail: per [dot] wickenberg [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se


Department of Sociology of Law

+46 46 222 88 15



Professor emeritus

Department of Sociology of Law


Per Wickenberg was a primary school teacher in the 1970s - and '80s.  Since 1993 he has been working at Lund University, with various assignments based on sociology of law-research and education.

Sociology of Law Department
Lund University
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14 M, 223 62 Lund, 3rd floor
Postal address: Box 42, 221 00 Lund

Faculty of Social Sciences