For the past three decades the policy discourse on forest governance in low- income countries has come to increasingly emphasise collaborative ideals and practices. Overall, the outcome has not been as intended: genuine collaboration has not materialised or reached its goals. This dissertation studies the subnational forest bureaucracy in the state of Kerala in South India. It is a country with a long and unique history of failed collaborative initiatives and an imminent threat of taking a more authoritarian turn in its forest governance sector.
The report was presented during the seminar Grön styrning – hur går vi från ord till handling?
- Grassroot level officials experience a number of operational problems (coordination of policy activities, ability to act quickly and efficiently and capacity development), as a consequence of the organizational structure and administrative culture.
- A favorable sociopolitical environment, in the form of active and mobilised citizenry, influence grassroots officials will to collaborate.
- The view of collaboration differs significantly depending on the position within the internal organisational hierarchy. High rank officials were far less inclined to collaboration and instead expressed a desire to preserve the status quo and balance of power.
- The officials does not constitute a uniform group. It is a multifaceted type of actor with considerable internal variation and diversity. Their positions and actions within collaboration networks are discussed on the basis of eight different roles they take on and express.
Marcus Wangel defended his dissertation Deep Roots and Tangled Branches: Bureaucracy and Collaboration in Natural Resource Governance in South India in June 2018 at the Department of Political Science at Uppsala University. He has field experience from India, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Palestine.