Local Democracy: Institutional Choice and Recognition in Natural Resource Management

Principal Investigator: Jesse Ribot

 

This research project explores the democratizing effects of natural resource decentralization reforms and projects. Many developing countries have launched decentralization reforms to establish and democratize local government. These reforms purport to lead to better service delivery, stronger local development, and more sustainable resource management. However, national governments, international development agencies, and other organizations are not empowering local government. Instead, they are transferring power to a wide range of local institutions, including private bodies, customary authorities, and non-government organizations. By transferring powers to these other local institutions, states are choosing to recognize them in place of democratically elected local governments. As a result, fledgling local governments receive few public powers and face competition for legitimacy. While planners have long espoused integrated rural development, the new trend in decentralization often results in fragmented forms of authority and belonging. The new trend also dampens long-run prospects for local democratic consolidation.

 

The Institutional Choice research program examined how the institutional choices made by governments, international development agencies, and other organizations impact three dimensions of democracy: (1) representation, (2) belonging and citizenship, and (3) the public domain. This comparative policy research program includes case studies in Benin, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, India, Inner Mongolia, Thailand, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Russia.

 

Status: Ongoing. Several major research efforts have been completed in The Institutional Choice and Recognition program. The resulting publications are detailed in the Publications list below. The RFGI program, described above, continues this research.

Note that publications listed below will also be found under other projects since publications have been matched to as many projects as they are relevant to. The EAA research page reflects the earlier material in this research focus. The Working Papers from EAA (WRI Working Papers) are only listed on the EAA page -- they are all focused on democratic decentralization of natural resources. 

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Working Papers

WRI Working Paper 38

Ribot, Jesse and Robin Mearns. 2008. ‘Steering Community Driven Development? A Desk Study of NRM Choices’. WRI Environmental Governance in Africa Working Paper No. 38, edited by Jesse Ribot and Peter Veit.

RFGI Working Paper 34

Ribot, Jesse. 2016. ‘RFGI Handbook I: Leveraging Local Democracy through Forestry’ Responsive Forest Governance Initiative Working Paper No. 34, Dakar: CODESRIA/ IUCN/ University of Illinois.

Related Documents

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Milgroom, Jessica and Jesse Ribot. 2019. “Children of another land: social disarticulation, access to natural resources and the reconfiguration of authority in post resettlement,” Conservation and Society. Vol 33(3). Online Version.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Lund, Jens Friis, Rebecca Rutt and Jesse Ribot. 2018. “Trends in research on forestry decentralization policies,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. Vol. 32, pp. 17-22

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

Ribot, Jesse. 2017. The Business of Sustainable Development, An African Forest Tale (an Ode to the Lorax). Publication in search of publisher.

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

Ece, Melis, James Murombedzi and Jesse Ribot (eds.). 2017. “Disempowering Democracy: Local Representation in Community and Carbon Forestry in Africa,” Conservation and Society. 15(4): 357-370. Special Issue on Rights, Representation and REDD+. This is a collection of seven articles from seven researchers in the five-year thirteen-country thirty-five case study comparative research program the Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI). More details under RESEARCH/RFGI tabs.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Faye, Papa and Jesse Ribot. 2017. “Causes for Adaptation: Access to Forests, Markets and Representation in Eastern Senegal” Sustainability. Vol. 9, No. 311. Pp. 20.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Faye, Papa, Tobias Haller and Jesse Ribot. 2017. “Shaping Rules and Practice for More Justice. Local Conventions and Local Resistance in Eastern Senegal” Human Ecology. Online publication 25 July.

POLICY RESEARCH BRIEFS

POLICY RESEARCH BRIEFS

Ribot, Jesse. 2017. ‘Choose Democracy: Guidance for Democratizing through Natural Resource Management Interventions,’ a Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) policy brief of the Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD) with CODESRIA, IUCN and University of Illinois [Also available in French 2018 as ‘Choisir la démocratie : la gestion des ressources naturelles pour les décideurs, bailleurs de fonds, et agents de terrain’].

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Agrawal, Arun and Jesse Ribot. 2014. “Are Ostrom’s Design Principles Sufficient for Design?” Policy Matters. Issue 19. Pp. 111-7.

WORKING PAPERS

WORKING PAPERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2014. “Farce of the Commons: Humor, Irony, and Subordination through a Camera’s Lens.” Research Report no. 2, International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD), Visby, Sweden.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2013. “Choice, Recognition and the Democracy Effects of Decentralization” Ch. 4, Pp. 93-120 in Joakim Öjendal and Anki Dellnäs (eds.) The imperative of good local governance: Challenges for the next decade of decentralization. Tokyo: UNU Press.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Agrawal, Arun and J. Ribot. 2012. “Assessing the Effectiveness of Democratic Accountability Mechanisms in Local Governance” Report commissioned for USAID by Management Systems International (MSI) Project No. 380000.12–500–03–11.

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

Murombedzi, James and Jesse Ribot. 2012. “Occupy Nature: Representation as the Basis of Emancipatory Environmentalism,” Vivre Autrement: La magazine des autres mondes possibles. ENDA 23 June 2012.

WORKING PAPERS

WORKING PAPERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2012. “Choix, Reconnaissance et Effets de la Décentralisation sur la Ribot, J. 2012. “Choix, Reconnaissance et Effets de la Décentralisation sur la Démocratie.” CODESRIA RFGI working paper series. [Translation and reprinting of 2011 Visby working paper below.]

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse and Anne Larson. 2012. Reducing REDD risks: Affirmative policy on an uneven playing field. International Journal of the Commons Vol. 6, No. 2.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Poteete, Amy and Jesse Ribot. 2011. ‘Repertoires of Domination: Decentralization as Process in Botswana and Senegal’ World Development Vol. 39, No. 3.

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

Ribot, Jesse 2011. ‘Seeing REDD for Local Democracy: A Call for Democracy Standards’ Common Voices, Vol. 3, January 2011, pp. 14-16.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2011. ‘Participation Without Representation: Chiefs, Councils and Forestry Law in the West African Sahel’, in Andrea Cornwall (ed.) The Participation Reader. London: Zed Books. Reprinted from 1996. Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1.

BOOK REVIEWS, FORWARDS, AND NON-REVIEWED ARTICLES

BOOK REVIEWS, FORWARDS, AND NON-REVIEWED ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse. 2011. “Comment on ‘The Realities of Participatory Forest Management: Case Study Analyses from Tanzania, Mozambique, Laos and Vietnam’,” P. 193-195 in Irmeli Mustalahti (ed.) Footprints in Forests: Effects and Impacts of Finnish Forestry Assistance. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland.

WORKING PAPERS

WORKING PAPERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2011. “Choice, Recognition and the Democracy Effects of Decentralization” Working Paper no. 5, International Center for Local Democracy, Visby, Sweden.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse and Anne M. Larson. 2011. ‘Reducing REDD Risks: Affirmative Policy on an Uneven Playing Field’, In T. Sikor & J. Stahl (eds.) 2011. Forests and People: Property, Governance, and Human Rights. London: Earthscan.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Larson, Anne M. and Jesse Ribot. 2010. “Lessons from Forestry Decentralisation,” Ch. 14, pp. 175-190 in Arild Angelsen (ed.) Realising REDD+: National strategy and policy options. Bogor: Cifor. http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Knowledge/Publications/Detail?pid=2871. Also available in French.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2010. ‘Authority over Forests: Recentralizing Benefits in Senegal’s Forestry Decentralization’ In Thomas Sikor and Christian Lund (eds.) Politics of Possession. Property, Authority, and Access to Natural Resources. London, Wiley-Blackwell. (First published in Development and Change. Vol. 40, No. 1. 2009)

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse, Ashwini Chhatre, and Tomila V. Lankina. 2010. ‘Decentralization, Authority and Local Democracy’, in Ed Connerley, Kent Eaton and Paul Smoke (eds.) Making Decentralization Work: Democracy, Development and Security. Lynne Rienner Publishers. (Published earlier as ‘The Politics of Choice and Recognition in Democratic Decentralization’ in Conservation and Society, 2008, see above.)

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse, Thorsten Treue and Jens Friis Lund. 2010. ‘Democratic decentralization in sub-Saharan Africa: Its contribution to forest management, livelihoods, and enfranchisement’ (A Review of the Literature), Environmental Conservation 37(01):35 - 44. [First published as a Working Paper with the Development Research Group, The World Bank.]

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

Sikor, Thomas, Johannes Stahl, Thomas Enters, Jesse Ribot, Neera Singh, William D. Sunderlin, and Lini Wollenberg. 2010. REDD-plus, forest people’s rights and nested climate governance. Global Environmental Change. Vol. 20, No.3.

WORKING PAPERS

WORKING PAPERS

Xu, Xiuli, Ting Zuo, Tianlai Gou, Gubo Qi, Ribot, J. 2010. "Access Matters: The Little Man with the Big Stone: A commodity chain analysis on the case of Chinese fir in P County, Hunan Province, China" China Policy Institute, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, The University of Nottingham, Discussion Paper 62.

POLICY RESEARCH BRIEFS

POLICY RESEARCH BRIEFS

Ribot, Jesse. 2008. Building Local Democracy through Natural Resources Interventions: An Environmentalist’s Responsibility. A Policy Brief. Washington: World Resources Institute.

WORKING PAPERS

WORKING PAPERS

Ribot, Jesse, Ashwini Chhatre, and Tomila Lankina. 2008. ‘Institutional Choice and Recognition in the Formation and Consolidation of Local Democracy’. Representation, Equity and Environment Working Paper Series (formerly ‘Environmental Governance in Africa’ Working Paper Series) Paper No. 35, edited by Jesse Ribot and Peter Veit.

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

Ribot, Jesse, Ashwini Chhatre, and Tomila V. Lankina (eds). 2008. Special Issue on The Politics of Choice and Recognition in Democratic Decentralization. Conservation and Society. Vol. 6, No. 1. For the entire special issue, please see link. The PDF in this link is only the introduction.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse, Ashwini Chhatre, and Tomila V. Lankina (special issue eds.). 2008. Special Issue Introduction: ‘The Politics of Choice and Recognition in Democratic Decentralization’. Conservation and Society. Vol. 6, No. 1.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Larson, Anne, and Jesse Ribot. 2007. ‘The Poverty of Forestry Policy: Double Standards on and Uneven Playing Field’. Journal of Sustainability Science. Vol. 2, No. 2.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse. 2007. Representation, Citizenship and the Public Domain in Democratic Decentralization. Development. Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 43-49.

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

Ribot, Jesse. 2007. Dans L’Attente de la Démocratie: La politique des choix dans la décentralisation des ressources naturelles. World Resources Institute, Washington DC. [First published in English as: Ribot, J. 2004. Waiting for Democracy: The Politics of Choice in Natural Resource Decentralizations. Washington: World Resources Institute.

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

EDITORIALS AND COMMENTS

Ribot, Jesse. 2006. ‘Choose Democracy: Environmentalists’ Socio-political Responsibility’, Global Environmental Change. Vol. 16.

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

Ribot, Jesse and René Oyono (eds). 2006. Special issue on Implementing Progressive New Natural Resources Laws. Africa Development Vol. XXXI, No. 2.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse, Arun Agrawal and Anne M. Larson. 2006. ‘Recentralizing While Decentralizing: How National Governments Reappropriate Forest Resources’, World Development. Vol. 34, No. 11. Pp. 1864-86.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2005. ‘Décentralisation Démocratique des Ressources Naturelles: Choix Institutionnel et Transferts de Pouvoirs Discrétionnaires en Afrique Sub-Saharienne’, in Alain Bertrand, Pierre Montagne and Alain Karsenty, eds., L’Etat et les politiques forestières en Afrique francophone. Paris: Editions Karthala.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse. 2005. ‘Steering Community Driven Development? A Desk Study of NRM Choices’ draft report to the World Bank Natural Resources Thematic Group, 1 March. Made available as a WRI working paper in 2008

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse 2005. ‘Choosing Representation: Institutions and Powers for Decentralized Natural Resource Management’, in Carol J. Pierce Colfer and Doris Capistrano, eds., The Politics of Decentralization: Forests, People and Power. London: Earthscan.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, J. and René Oyono. 2005. ‘The Politics of Decentralization’ in Ben Wisner, Camila Toulmin and Rutendo Chitiga eds., Toward a New Map of Africa, London: Earthscan Press.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Thiaw, Sagane and Jesse Ribot. 2005. ‘Insiders Out: Forest Access through Village Chiefs in Senegal’, in Sandra Evers, Marja Spierenburg,. and Harry Wels eds. Competing Jurisdictions. Settling Land Claims in Africa and Madagascar. The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers’.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Larson, Anne and Jesse Ribot. 2004. ‘Democratic Decentralization through a Natural Resource Lens: An Introduction’, guest editors’ introduction to a special issue of European Journal of Development Research. Vol. 16, No. 1.

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

BOOKS & SPECIAL ISSUES

Ribot, Jesse. 2004. Waiting for Democracy: The Politics of Choice in Natural Resource Decentralizations. Washington: World Resources Institute. [Published in French in 2007.]

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, J. 2003. ‘Democratic Decentralization of Natural Resources: Institutional Choice and Discretionary Power Transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Public Administration and Development. Vol. 23, No. 1.

BOOK REVIEWS, FORWARDS, AND NON-REVIEWED ARTICLES

BOOK REVIEWS, FORWARDS, AND NON-REVIEWED ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse. 2003. ‘Transcending Tensions in Democratic Decentralization: Institutional Choice and Subsidiarity Principles’, Democracy Report, Vol. 9, No. 11.

POLICY RESEARCH BRIEFS

POLICY RESEARCH BRIEFS

Ribot, Jesse. 2002. "African Decentralization: Local Actors, Powers and Accountability", Democracy, Governance and Human Rights Paper No. 8. Geneva: UNRISD and IDRC. Pp. 32.

BOOK CHAPTERS

BOOK CHAPTERS

Ribot, Jesse. 2001. ‘Decentralization, Participation and Representation: Association and Indirect Rule in Sahelian Forestry’ in Pauline Peters, ed. Development Encounters: Sites of Participation and Knowledge. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Agrawal, Arun and Jesse Ribot. 1999. "Accountability in Decentralization: A Framework with South Asian and West African Cases", Journal of Developing Areas, Vol. 33.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Lippman, Harrold, Robert Charlick, Jesse Ribot and Robert Groelsema. 1999. ‘Democracy and Governance Cross Sectoral Linkages: Case Study of USAID/Guinea’, for USAID.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse. 1999. ‘Institutions, Governance and Natural Resource Management’, Framework Paper for World Resources Institute conference on Institutions and Governance in Natural Resource Management, February.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse. 1998. ‘United Nations Capital Development Fund: The Way Forward’, Chapter on future directions of UNCDF for 1998 Task Force on Participatory Eco-Development and Local Development Funds, 29 May 1998.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse. 1998. ‘Participatory Eco-Development and Local Development Funds: Some Comments on Policies’, Meeting on Policy Development, UNCDF Task Force on Local Development Funds and Eco-Development, 11-12, May Murten, Switzerland.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse. 1998. ‘A Political Economy of Cooperative Law Reform in Mali: The State is the Best Hen’, Report to Management Systems International and U.S. Agency for International Development/Mali.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ribot, Jesse. 1996. ‘Participation Without Representation: Chiefs, Councils and Forestry Law in the West African Sahel’, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 40-4. (Reproduced as a signature piece in Encyclopedia Perseus Africana. New York: Perseus. And republished in “The Participation Reader” London: Zed Books. 2011.)

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse. 1995. ‘Local Forest Access Control in Senegal: Toward Participatory Forestry Policies’, Forestry Sector Policy Report/Working Paper, Technical Division of The World Bank, January. (Also translated into French.)

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse 1994. ‘Forestry Sector Policy Report: Burkina Faso’, Forestry Sector Policy Report, Africa Technical Division of The World Bank, September.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse 1994. ‘Forestry Sector Policy Report: Niger’, Forestry Sector Policy Report, Africa Technical Division of The World Bank, In-house report, September.

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

PROFESSIONAL REPORT

Ribot, Jesse 1994. ‘Forestry Sector Policy Report: The Gambia’, Review of Policies in the Traditional Energy Sector, Africa Technical Division of The World Bank, In-house report, December.