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Beyond the Decentralization Paradigm

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003979/00001

Material Information

Title: Beyond the Decentralization Paradigm Revisiting Theories and Practice of Local Forest Management in Developing States
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Myerscough, Emily
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2008
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Decentralization
Democretization
Natural Resource Management
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Decentralization of natural resource management is currently at the center of institutional reforms throughout the developing world. In the past two decades, over fifty states have transferred responsibility of forest and pastureland governance to local bodies in Latin America, Africa and South Asia with the goal of promoting rural development and sustainable resource use. However, recent studies have shown that decentralization has often fallen short of its theoretical potential. At best, resource governance has changed little or improved slightly; at worst, environmental degradation and political corruption have increased. Despite such evidence, the decentralization of natural resource management has maintained a reputation as a catch-all solution and its theoretical benefits continue to justify extensive reforms throughout the developing world. This project develops a new framework for the study of decentralized resource governance. I identify two dominant theories within the forest management literature that explain positive resource outcomes as a result of local decision making. The first focuses on local democratization and the empowerment of individual citizens as resource users; the second focuses on increasing the capacity and autonomy of local resource management bodies. I examine the effects of promoting democratization and local autonomy in four developing states�Brazil, Nepal, China and Uganda�that have undergone extensive decentralization reforms. Additional studies were conducted of forest governance in four municipalities in Nicaragua to further investigate the local outcomes of promoting the democratization and local autonomy of resource management bodies. The results of these studies suggest that when mechanisms for increasing either participation or local autonomy are pursued in isolation, negative resource outcomes are likely; however, implementing them together can reduce this risk. This project recommends that future research move away from an understanding of decentralization as chiefly a op-down process and towards a greater focus on how reforms are negotiated at the local level regardless of their institutional design.
Statement of Responsibility: by Emily Myerscough
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2008
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Hicks, Barbara

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2008 M99
System ID: NCFE003979:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003979/00001

Material Information

Title: Beyond the Decentralization Paradigm Revisiting Theories and Practice of Local Forest Management in Developing States
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Myerscough, Emily
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2008
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Decentralization
Democretization
Natural Resource Management
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Decentralization of natural resource management is currently at the center of institutional reforms throughout the developing world. In the past two decades, over fifty states have transferred responsibility of forest and pastureland governance to local bodies in Latin America, Africa and South Asia with the goal of promoting rural development and sustainable resource use. However, recent studies have shown that decentralization has often fallen short of its theoretical potential. At best, resource governance has changed little or improved slightly; at worst, environmental degradation and political corruption have increased. Despite such evidence, the decentralization of natural resource management has maintained a reputation as a catch-all solution and its theoretical benefits continue to justify extensive reforms throughout the developing world. This project develops a new framework for the study of decentralized resource governance. I identify two dominant theories within the forest management literature that explain positive resource outcomes as a result of local decision making. The first focuses on local democratization and the empowerment of individual citizens as resource users; the second focuses on increasing the capacity and autonomy of local resource management bodies. I examine the effects of promoting democratization and local autonomy in four developing states�Brazil, Nepal, China and Uganda�that have undergone extensive decentralization reforms. Additional studies were conducted of forest governance in four municipalities in Nicaragua to further investigate the local outcomes of promoting the democratization and local autonomy of resource management bodies. The results of these studies suggest that when mechanisms for increasing either participation or local autonomy are pursued in isolation, negative resource outcomes are likely; however, implementing them together can reduce this risk. This project recommends that future research move away from an understanding of decentralization as chiefly a op-down process and towards a greater focus on how reforms are negotiated at the local level regardless of their institutional design.
Statement of Responsibility: by Emily Myerscough
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2008
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Hicks, Barbara

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2008 M99
System ID: NCFE003979:00001

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