- Max Krott, Axel Bader, Carsten Schusser, Rosan Devkota, Ahmad Maryudi, Lukas Giessen, Helene Aurenhammer. 2014. Actor-centred power: The driving force in decentralised community based forest governance. Forest Policy and Economics 49: 34-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2013.04.012
Community forestry has been described as a decentralised mode of forest governance that only partly lives up to its expectations. The power of important actors to misuse the community forestry approach for their self-interests has been reported as a major obstacle to comprehensive success. Hence, this article aims at developing an analytical, theory-based and empirically applicable framework for assessing an actor’s power using community forestry as an illustrative case. The actor-centred power approach (ACP) analysis aims to provide a scientific answer to the question of who are the politically most powerful actors in community forestry practices. In making use of suitable components of power theories it builds strongly upon the social relations of actors, organisational aspects and power sources, as described by Weber, Dahl, Etzioni and their adherents. Actor-centred power approach (ACP) is defined as a social relationship in which actor A alters the behaviour of actor B without recognising B’s will. In our framework we distinguish between three core elements: coercion, (dis-)incentives and dominant information. These make up the basis for observable facts that involve not only physical actions but also threats by power elements and the very sources of said power elements. Theoretical considerations show that, despite the focus being on actors, by looking to their power sources a considerable part of structural power can be more tangible at least in part, like rules, discourse or ideologies. Furthermore, the paper shows how the actor-centred power approach distinguishes power from other influences on forest management and contributes to the identification of the group of powerful actors on an empirical basis. Due to the focus on actors and well-defined and observable elements of power, the actor-centred power approach (ACP) could serve not only as a basis for research but also as a tool for quick assessment of power networks, delivering valuable preliminary information for designing forest policy in practice.
- Ahmad Maryudi. 2014. An innovative policy for rural development? Rethinking barriers to rural communities earning their living from forests in Indonesia. Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan 8(1): 50-64.
The government of Indonesia (GoI) has trialed a number of community forestry schemes, ranging from collaborative management to long-term forest management rights handed to local communities, and implements them in state forestland. This policy shift toward community forestry in Indonesia shows an emerging signal on acknowledgement on the ability of local forest users to manage forest resources sustainably, and gives the people opportunities to benefit from the resources and eventually improve their daily life. With so much of promises community forestry brings, this paper primarily asks why the program is yet to meet the high expectation of rural development, tackling the pervasive rural poverty. It aims to identify, analyze and address key constraints of rural communities in exercising their rights which are considered as key factors to improve their livelihood and alleviate rural poverty. That the government-initiated community forestry schemes fall short of the initial targets in terms of the extent of state forestland areas managed by to forest communities to a large extent is explained by the regulatory barriers of tenurial uncertainties and the complex licensing procedures. Those coupled by the limited capacity as technical assistance rarely provided by government institutions appear to impede local people to secure better livelihood.