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The Contribution of Institutional Theories to Explaining Decentralization of Natural Resource Governance

Citation

Bartley, Tim; Andersson, Krister P.; Jagger, Pamela; & Van Laerhoven, Frank (2008). The Contribution of Institutional Theories to Explaining Decentralization of Natural Resource Governance. Society and Natural Resources, 21(2), 160-174.

Abstract

Governments are increasingly devolving governance of natural resources from central administrations to subnational levels. Researchers routinely document the complexity and contradictions of this process, but policy prescriptions and their underlying theoretical models remain overly simplified. Going beyond classical statements in the policy literature that emphasize interjurisdictional competition, we draw on recent developments in the multidisciplinary literature on institutional theory and the growing stock of research on natural resource governance. We develop an "institutional mediation" approach, which emphasizes the multilevel nestedness of rules and highlights the role of institutional incentives, contradictions, and complementarities in shaping how actors navigate decentralization reforms. Brief case studies of decentralization of forest governance in Bolivia and Uganda lend initial credence to the claims of this approach, and preliminary hypotheses for further research are proposed.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920701617973

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2008

Journal Title

Society and Natural Resources

Author(s)

Bartley, Tim
Andersson, Krister P.
Jagger, Pamela
Van Laerhoven, Frank