Co-management and Indigenous Communities: Barriers and Bridges to Decentralized Resource Management: Introduction
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In recent decades, there has been a profusion of new decentralized institutions for resource management. They have developed as a result of the efforts made by state managers and local resource users to address an array of crises, conflicts and dilemmas surrounding common property resources. Through processes that are variously described as “co-management” or “co-operative management” or “community-based management” managers at the state level and users at the local level have together created scores of new decentralized common property institutions. As joint ventures, these institutions combine different aspects of both state-level and community-level approaches to governance. This special theme issue of Anthropologica explores this diversity and highlights a set of themes and questions related to co-management. It also seeks to highlight research on relationships between indigenous communities and nation states. Collectively the papers address issues raised by political ecology, forms of control deployed by modern nation states, critical approaches to issues of empowerment and Indigenous visions of relations to the state. The findings that these papers present do not fit neatly together, but they do pose basic questions and tackle issues of wide import that are emerging from this rapidly developing area of research.
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