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Revisiting the Issue of Elite Capture of Participatory Initiatives


  • Lund, Jens Friis
  • Saito-Jensen, Moeko


Based on case studies of two communities implementing participatory forestry in Tanzania and India, we revisit the issue of elite capture of participatory initiatives. Our cases illustrate how initial elite capture of the participatory initiatives is circumvented over time through various forms of resistance orchestrated by initially disadvantaged groups. Based on the cases we argue that studies of elite capture should be based on in-depth and longitudinal empirical investigations that carefully characterize forms and outcomes of elite capture and consider both the changing dynamics of social settings and the perceptions held by the people under study.

Suggested Citation

  • Lund, Jens Friis & Saito-Jensen, Moeko, 2013. "Revisiting the Issue of Elite Capture of Participatory Initiatives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 104-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:46:y:2013:i:c:p:104-112
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.01.028

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun, 2001. "Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1649-1672, October.
    2. Wily, Liz Alden & Dewees, Peter A., 2001. "From users to custodians : changing relations between people and the State in forest management in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2569, The World Bank.
    3. Kumar, Sanjay, 2002. "Does "Participation" in Common Pool Resource Management Help the Poor? A Social Cost-Benefit Analysis of Joint Forest Management in Jharkhand, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 763-782, May.
    4. J-P. Platteau & A. Abraham, 2002. "Participatory Development in the Presence of Endogenous Community Imperfections," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 104-136.
    5. Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
    6. Jesse C Ribot, 2007. "Representation, Citizenship and the Public Domain in Democratic Decentralization," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 50(1), pages 43-49, March.
    7. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Gaspart, Frederic, 2003. "The Risk of Resource Misappropriation in Community-Driven Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1687-1703, October.
    8. Cleaver, Frances, 2005. "The inequality of social capital and the reproduction of chronic poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 893-906, June.
    9. Fritzen, Scott A., 2007. "Can the Design of Community-Driven Development Reduce the Risk of Elite Capture? Evidence from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1359-1375, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Green, Kathryn E. & Lund, Jens Friis, 2015. "The politics of expertise in participatory forestry: a case from Tanzania," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 27-34.
    2. Schaafsma, Marije & Burgess, Neil D. & Swetnam, Ruth D. & Ngaga, Yonika M. & Kerry Turner, R. & Treue, Thorsten, 2014. "Market Signals of Unsustainable and Inequitable Forest Extraction: Assessing the Value of Illegal Timber Trade in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 155-168.
    3. Rutt, Rebecca Leigh & Chhetri, Bir Bahadur Khanal & Pokharel, Ridish & Rayamajhi, Santosh & Tiwari, Krishna & Treue, Thorsten, 2015. "The scientific framing of forestry decentralization in Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 50-61.
    4. repec:eee:forpol:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:181-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Oli, Bishwa Nath & Treue, Thorsten & Smith-Hall, Carsten, 2016. "The relative importance of community forests, government forests, and private forests for household-level incomes in the Middle Hills of Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 155-163.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:149-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Akerkar, Supriya & Joshi, P.C. & Fordham, Maureen, 2016. "Cultures of Entitlement and Social Protection: Evidence from Flood Prone Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 46-58.
    8. Sheely, Ryan, 2015. "Mobilization, Participatory Planning Institutions, and Elite Capture: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 251-266.
    9. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Wagner, Natascha, 2016. "Does Community-Driven Development Improve Inclusiveness in Peasant Organizations? – Evidence from Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 105-124.
    10. Kyamusugulwa, Patrick M. & Hilhorst, Dorothea, 2015. "Power Holders and Social Dynamics of Participatory Development and Reconstruction: Cases from the Democratic Republic of Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 249-259.
    11. Lund, Jens Friis, 2015. "Paradoxes of participation: The logic of professionalization in participatory forestry," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-6.
    12. repec:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:199-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Chomba, Susan & Treue, Thorsten & Sinclair, Fergus, 2015. "The political economy of forest entitlements: can community based forest management reduce vulnerability at the forest margin?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 37-46.
    14. Handberg, Øyvind Nystad, 2016. "No sense of ownership in weak participation: a forest conservation experiment in Tanzania," Working Paper Series 05-2016, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.
    15. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:343-358 is not listed on IDEAS


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