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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2013 → Change and continuity in natural resources management : A historical institutional analysis of Ethiopia and Namibia

Northern Arizona University (2013)

Change and continuity in natural resources management : A historical institutional analysis of Ethiopia and Namibia

Ogbaharya, Daniel Ghebretensae

Titre : Change and continuity in natural resources management : A historical institutional analysis of Ethiopia and Namibia

Auteur : Ogbaharya, Daniel Ghebretensae

Etablissement de soutenance : Northern Arizona University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2013

This is a study of institutional variation, differentiation, and evolution in natural resources management in two post-conflict African states. A historical analysis of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in Ethiopia and Namibia, the dissertation examines how and whether the collective capabilities of local communities for managing natural resources have evolved in the aftermath of the decentralization of natural resource management in the 1990s. Ethiopia’s participatory approach is integral to its comprehensive agriculture-led macroeconomic strategy, which seeks to reduce rural poverty, combat famine, and diversify economic opportunities for increasingly vulnerable agro-pastoral communities. The Communal Conservancy Program (CCP) of Namibia is designed to bolster the capabilities of “communal areas” to benefit from wildlife-related livelihood strategies such as eco-tourism and trophy hunting. The study employs a comparative historical institutionalist approach—augmented by discursive institutionalism and the human capabilities approach—to take stock of changes and continuities in institutional structures governing the management of strategic livelihood resources. A main finding is that, although Namibia’s approach is more devolutionary than Ethiopia because it transfers wildlife rights to locally incorporated entities, both cases represent gradual institutional evolution rather than abrupt change from established norms, approaches, and systems of natural resources management. If we take institutional change as gradation, as do emerging theories of institutional change, Namibia seems to have gone slightly farther than Ethiopia in institutionalizing CBNRM. In the lexicon of Mahoney & Thelen (2010), Namibia represents “institutional layering” whereas Ethiopia best exemplifies “institutional drift.” These slightly divergent institutional trajectories seem to have induced substantive and significant variation in communal capabilities in the two countries. By departing from rational choice institutionalism currently prevalent in CBNRM studies, the dissertation potentially contributes to deepening theoretical and policy knowledge concerning the large-scale historical processes, ideological and discursive struggles, residual governmental structures, and socio-political identities or actors that shape variation and differentiation in the impact, effectiveness, and institutionalization of CBNRM. More generally, the dissertation seeks to contribute to the on-going debate in Comparative Politics in general and Development Studies in particular concerning the causes, attributes, and modalities of institutional change. Furthermore, the findings of the dissertation may have important policy implications for the emerging arena of postconflict reconstruction, the so-called community-driven post-conflict development.

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