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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Recentralizing While Decentralizing: How National Governments Reappropriate Forest Resources

Published Date
November 2006, Vol.34(11):18641886, doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.11.020
Rescaling Governance and the Impacts of Political and Environmental Decentralization

  • Jesse C. Ribot
  • World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA
  • Arun Agrawal
  • University of Michigan, MI, USA
  • Anne M. Larson
  • Center for International Forestry Research, Managua, Nicaragua


Decentralization initiatives have been launched in the majority of developing countries, but these rarely lay the foundations necessary to reach decentralization’s purported efficiency and equity benefits. This paper uses a comparative empirical approach to show how central governments in six countries—Senegal, Uganda, Nepal, Indonesia, Bolivia, and Nicaragua—use a variety of strategies to obstruct the democratic decentralization of resource management and, hence, retain central control. Effective decentralization requires the construction of accountable institutions at all levels of government and a secure domain of autonomous decision making at the local level.

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