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The Politics of Structural Choice in a One-Party State: The Case of Wildlife Policy in Zambia

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dc.contributor.author Gibson, Clark C. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T15:14:46Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T15:14:46Z
dc.date.issued 1994 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-05-13 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-05-13 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4256
dc.description.abstract "Many scholars and practitioners see the activities of public agencies as remedies to society's collective dilemmas. Work in the new institutional economics, however, has challenged this conceptualization. Rather than view bureaucracies as solutions to collective action problems, some new institutionalists conceptualize public agencies as a means by which political winners can impose their favored distributive outcomes on the rest of society. Further, some scholars assert the structural design of public agencies can be explained by reference to their political and distributive features. "This paper employs and extends this approach. I argue that the design of public agencies can be explained by examining their designers' strategic choices under two important constraints: the designers' original share of public authority, and the pattern of political uncertainty generated by a particular system of government. "I apply this theory to the case of Zambian wildlife policy in the 1980s. Following the dramatic increase in poaching rates in Zambia in the 1970s and 1980s, individuals and interest groups attempted to create new wildlife programs that could circumvent the influence of party and government officials who, using wildlife as a resource for patronage politics, routinely thwarted attempts to strengthen conservation laws. The designers of these new programs chose structural arrangements to increase their share of public authority and to insulate their programs from political uncertainty of a one-party state, at the expense of promulgated aims such as conservation, local participation, and bureaucratic 'efficiency.' "The study underscores the importance of the distributive nature of public agencies, the political interests of bureaucrats, and the place of structural choice in policy analysis." en_US
dc.subject wildlife en_US
dc.subject Workshop en_US
dc.subject institutions--economics en_US
dc.title The Politics of Structural Choice in a One-Party State: The Case of Wildlife Policy in Zambia en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US
dc.coverage.region Africa en_US
dc.coverage.country Zambia en_US
dc.subject.sector Wildlife en_US

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