Repertoires of Domination in Decentralization: Cases from Botswana and Senegal

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"Decentralization policies ostensibly change the distribution of authority between center and locality by empowering a variety of local of actors and organizations, such as user groups, traditional authorities, or multipurpose local governments. While decentralization may empower some local actors, if implemented, it can threaten the authority of central or other local actors. Those who stand to lose from decentralization can be expected to defend their authority and access to resources as best they can. The set of acts more-powerful actors can perform as they make claims to defend - or entrench and expand - their interests may be described as repertoires of domination. Decentralization programs may alter the effectiveness of particular performances, but threatened actors have several alternatives in their repertoire. We develop the concept of repertoires of domination and illustrate their influence in Botswana and Senegal, where government officials, local elites, and commercial interests have used their repertoires of domination to limit the extent of local-level democratization achieved through the decentralization of natural resource management."
decentralization, authority, game theory, institutional analysis, state and local governance, resource management