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Community in Conservation: Beyond Enchantment and Disenchantment

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Agrawal, Arun
Date: 1997
Agency: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Series: Working Paper Series W97I-25
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3963
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): conservation--research
community development--research
participatory development--research
collective action--theory
Abstract: "Disillusionment with decades of intrusive resource management strategies and planned development has forced a recognition that community may play a critical role in meeting the goal of conservation. No longer is community seen as an impediment to progressive social change. It now has become the focus of thinking on devolution of power, meaningful participation, and cultural autonomy. Yet, the resurgence of community in writings on conservation lacks a critical edge. "The mission of this paper is to underscore some of the elements vital to equitable and sustainable conservation. The paper emphasizes that community-based conservation is unavoidably about a shift of power as well as about how power is exercised, by which loci of authority, and with what kinds of resistance. An adequate understanding of community-based conservation must focus, therefore, on political processes within and outside of the community, on how politics shapes conservation, and on the critical role of institutions; all of which the paper takes up."

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