Sammanfattning: In the thesis, the conditions, possibilities, and limitations for Swedish environmental organisations to influence other actors — state agencies, political organisations, enterprises and the Swedish public — are analysed. The focus is on their practice in the nineties, implying a context in which different actors, to a greater extent, have accepted the significance of environmental issues, demand knowledge of and solutions to environmental problems, and with new conflicts continously arising. Against this background, four main interrelated themes are developed. Firstly, focus is set on the diversity and internal relations of the movement itself. Heterogeneity, variation and internal relations are analysed through the use of concepts such as social movement, collective identity, and niche. The diversity of the movement is regarded as a source of strength even though it also produces limitations. Secondly, how environmental organisations act politically and in what political scenes they appear, are analysed through the use of concepts such as political opportunity structure, subpolitics, lifepolitics, risk definition struggle, and intermediary link. The use of combined strategies, as well as the relation between diversity and political action, are highlighted. Thirdly, the cognitive practice of environmental organisations is analysed. This entails analysing how they try to persuade other actors with the help of frames. The extensive use of frame bridgings as well as tendencies towards the use of more cooperative strategies — captured by the concept ecological modernization — provide opportunities but also imply threats against autonomy and critical distance. However, the study shows that the organisations have the capacity to preserve their cognitive autonomy. Fourthly, the importance of organisation for cognitive practice, autonomy, and resource mobilization is stressed, and variations in form are analysed. Certain organisational tendencies such as growth, routinization, and professionalization are highlighted. The study is based on intensive comparative case studies of five Swedish environmental organisations: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, World Wide Fund for Nature, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Natural Step. Different kinds of data are used: interviews with keypersons in the organisations, analyses of different kinds of documents produced by the organisations, and different kinds of secondary litterature.
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