Shades of green: a social scientific view on bioeconomy in the forest sector

Politics increasingly introduces initiatives supporting a shift toward a bioeconomy aiming at a society relying strongly on renewable biological sources while achieving economic growth efficiently and sustainably. However, the agenda of bioeconomy comprises different “shades of green,” in the sense that different actors stress different aspects of the concept, when embracing it in communication. This conceptual paper aims to present policy and socioeconomic theoretical frameworks and research areas relevant for a more holistic understanding of the bioeconomy concept applied to the forest sector, and identify a core set of potential contributions from social sciences for enhancing the bioeconomy in the forest sector. The paper focuses on studies within policy analysis, economics, and business administration disciplines. Thus it presents diverse disciplinary perspectives on the forest sector in a bioeconomy. Furthermore, innovation and sustainability have been identified as issues relevant to be approached across these disciplines.