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Analysing Access to Tropical Forests: Analytical Implications of Critical Realism for Community Forestry Management Research

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Weigelt, Jes
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/97
Sector: Forestry
Subject(s): community forestry
forest management
social networks
Abstract: "This paper argues that much of the literature on community forestry management does not pay sufficient attention to societal structures that impinge on access to tropical forests. It suggests that the philosophical school of Critical Realism has a lot to offer as a basis for research on societal structures. First, it builds on a dialectical understanding of structure and agency. Critical Realism suggests that the interplay of structure and agency is separable over time. This allows embedding the actor in the structures that impinge on his or her access. Second, the ontology of Critical Realism offers a methodological basis to map structures. Given the strategic selectivity of structures that discriminate against poor people's access, this is a substantial contribution to institutional analyses of forest access."

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