Accountable representation and power in participatory and decentralized environmental management

J. C. Ribot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decentralization and participation are both means of bringing a broader section of a given population into public decision-making processes - in a role of informing and/or controlling those processes. Most justifications for participatory and decentralized forestry are built around the assumption that greater participation in public decision-making is a positive good in itself, and/or that it can improve efficiency, equity, development and resource management. By bringing government decision-making closer to the citizenry, decentralization is widely believed to increase public sector accountability and, therefore, effectiveness (Fox and Aranda, 1996). At its most basic, decentralization aims to achieve one of the central aspirations of just political governance - democratization, or the desire that humans should have a say in their own affairs. In this sense, decentralization is a strategy of governance prompted by external or domestic pressures to facilitate transfers of power closer to those who are most affected by the exercise of power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
Issue number199
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology


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