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Interaction between market and state crucial for a sustainable development

Professor Emeritus Lars-Gunnar Mattsson has been involved in academic research and education since the 1960’s. Over the decades, his research has covered aspects of industry and distribution structure and dynamics, industrial marketing and internationalization with a focus on interorganizational relationships. More recently, he has begun to focus on sustainable development as dependent on interaction between market governance and state governance.

As a judge in the Market Court in the 1980s and 1990s, as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) and as a board member of insurance companies, Lars-Gunnar over the years got insights about change processes in markets. This has stimulated the development of his interest in the role of public policies for shaping of sustainable markets. 

Lars-Gunnar teamed up with fellow CSR researcher Svenne Junker for research on "Governing towards a low-carbon economy: linking policy practices with market practices". The theoretical base for this research lies in the literature on market practice, industrial networks and institutional work.

"Our empirical data focus on how institutional work includes interaction between policy actors and market actors aimed at supporting climate mitigating innovations, that we categorize as technical, economic/organizational and policy innovations. More specifically we rely, first on a government initiative Fossil Free Sweden (FFS) and its sectorial roadmaps developed by market actors and submitted to government. Second, we rely on the government's climate action plan from 2019 and later actions related to that", says Lars-Gunnar.

Based on a preliminary analysis of the roadmaps and the action plan, they decided to focus on government's explicit efforts to develop the innovative role of public procurement as a climate political tool. 

"Based on the findings on public procurement, we now begin to study markets as represented by networks of value chains. It is obvious that all markets are dependent on other markets", says Lars-Gunnar. "It is also obvious that all climate mitigating innovations are dependent on other innovations, including public policy innovations. This makes the value chain concept interesting as a focus for our present and future research. It will also be important, given the urgency of climate mitigating and climate adaptation to know more about temporal aspects of these interdependent processes, e.g. in terms of coordination, sequencing, timing, speed and duration", he concludes.