Challenges to the elite exclusion–inclusion dichotomy — reconsidering elite capture in community-based natural resource management



Wong, Sam
(2013) Challenges to the elite exclusion–inclusion dichotomy — reconsidering elite capture in community-based natural resource management. South African Journal of International Affairs, 20 (3). 379 - 391.

[img] Text
elite capture paper in South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA).pdf
Access to this file is embargoed until Unspecified.

Download (138kB)

Abstract

The community-driven, decentralised approach to natural resource management has reached a crossroads. The good governance agenda in the water, forestry, fishery and biodiversity sectors has generated limited success in achieving pro-poor outcomes. In many cases, local elites are to blame for capturing the benefits from the process of democratising decision-making processes. This paper examines two approaches in the literature which both aim to address elite domination, namely elite exclusion and elite inclusion. The former is a deliberate act to reduce the influence of elites by excluding them from the decision-making process in natural resource management. The latter, in contrast, is a conscious strategy to integrate elites into the use of natural resources in an attempt to redistribute the benefits to poor people via the ‘trickle down’ effect. This paper argues that the dichotomy of elite inclusion and exclusion is inadequate in understanding the complex local power dynamics in natural resource management. In particular, the binary division fails to address the multiple locations of elites, overlapping institutions and the paradoxes of ‘controlled’ participatory processes. This paper argues that any strategies to tackle elite capture need to pay attention to the historical, socially embedded and negotiated nature of resource governance arrangements.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 10:48
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 08:48
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/2008614