This study analyzes the actor networks unfolding from flood risk management plans to visualize the diversity of roles and connections between actors participating in flood risk management measures. Flood risks are increasing in Europe, and the EU Floods Directive is one of the main efforts to implement and harmonize effective flood risk governance and management among member states. At the same time, the ongoing shift from mere flood protection to multi-functional flood risk governance calls for increased collaboration among a diversity of actors, typically with varying interests and responsibilities.
The researchers, here, introduce a new framework for analyzing flood risk management plans and related actor networks using Social Network Analysis and test it in the context of Finland. The framework helps to visualize the diversity of networks for different flood risk management strategies. The analysis also reveals the central roles that different types of actors—including those outside the public sector—occupy in the network. The findings suggest that Social Network Analysis can be used in the context of EU flood risk governance and that flood risk management plans offer an excellent opportunity for comparative governance studies in the EU.