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Patronage or Participation? Community-based Natural Resource Management Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa

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This article examines the institutional factors that account for the outcome of efforts to decentralize control over natural resources to local communities. It focuses on the political nature of institutional processes associated with decentralization in sub-Saharan Africa through a comparative analysis of wildlife management reforms in seven east and southern African countries. Institutional reforms are largely dependent on state authorities' patronage interests, which in turn are shaped by the relative economic value of wildlife, the degree of central control over commercial utilization, and the accountability of governance institutions. Our findings have a range of practical implications for the design of CBNRM initiatives and institutional reform strategies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2008

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