The Politics of Decentralization
Natural Resource Management in Asia
- PUBLISHED: May 2010
- SUBJECT LISTING: Environmental Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 246 Pages, 5.5 x 8 in, 19 illus.
- ISBN: 9786169005308
This book brings together empirically grounded studies of the decentralization of natural resource management in seven South and Southeast Asian countries. It provides a clear explanation of the key concepts and debates in decentralization relevant to the management of forests, fisheries, and water in the region.
The editors draw on evidence presented in the book to argue that the politics of decentralization is best understood as the terrain of negotiation and conflict. This approach to politics stands in contrast to the common assumption that democratic management can be manufactured by decentralization programs designed by experts and governments. The diverse cases presented in the book show that decentralization can shift the terrain of struggle in a variety of ways, sometimes in favor of farmers, fishers, water users, and forest users, and sometimes to their disadvantage. Readers of this book will learn to be wary of centralizing forces that use donor-funded decentralization to stave off pressure for genuine democratization, and to identify opportunities to promote institutions that could be open to capture by democratic groups.
Authors & Contributors
Chusak Wittayapak is assistant professor of geography at Chiang Mai University, Thailand. Peter Vandergeest is associate professor of sociology at York University in Canada.