Research Output

From shiny shoes to muddy reality: understanding how meso-state actors negotiate the implementation gap in participatory forest management

  Recent research on participatory forest management (PFM) in the global south has highlighted the existence of a widespread “implementation gap” between the ambitious intent enshrined in legislation and the often partial, disappointing rollout of devolved forest governance on the ground. Here, through an ethnographic case study of forest officers (FOs) in Kenya, we draw on a framework of critical institutionalism to examine how key meso-level actors, or “interface bureaucrats,” negotiate and challenge this implementation gap in everyday forest governance. We go beyond consideration of institutional bricolage in isolation or as an aggregate category, to analyze how bricolage as aggregation, alteration, and/or articulation is variously driven, shaped, and constrained by FOs’ multiple accountabilities and agency. Our analysis highlights the locally specific, contingent, and mutually reinforcing nature of accountability, agency and bricolage, and their explanatory power in relation to the performance and nature of “actually existing” PFM.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    16 November 2017

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • DOI:

    10.1080/08941920.2017.1382628

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1080/08941920.2017.1382628

  • ISSN:

    0894-1920

  • Library of Congress:

    QH Natural history

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    577 Ecology

  • Funders:

    Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation; Department for International Development; Economic and Social Research Council; Natural Environment Research Council; Coastal Ecosystem Services of East Africa (CESEA); Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme (ESPA); Department for International Development, UK Government

Citation

Kairu, A., Upton, C., Huxham, M., Kotut, K., Mbeche, R., & Kairo, J. (2018). From shiny shoes to muddy reality: understanding how meso-state actors negotiate the implementation gap in participatory forest management. Society and Natural Resources, 31(1), 74-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2017.1382628

Authors

Keywords

Accountability; agency; bricolage; critical institutionalism; ethnography; Kenya

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