Counteracting hegemonic powers in the policy process: critical action research on Nepal's forest governance

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27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Confronting hegemonic power in the policy process remains a formidable challenge. Critical inquiry and civic resistance have been seen as two possible solutions to address this challenge. However, how and to what extent critical inquiry tackles this challenge is rarely explored. This article outlines a Critical Action Research (CAR) approach and then discusses how this approach was put into practice in Nepal's forest policy processes during 2000-11. It demonstrates the potential and limitations of a civil-society-based critical inquiry in the context of a centralized system of forest governance facing pressures for participatory reform. This use of a CAR approach aimed to tackle three forms of power - that exercised by the state forest authority; that of the international development agencies; and that of the national political decision-makers - in Nepal's forest policy processes. Finally, the article identifies theoretical and methodological issues that were demonstrated in this engagement with the policy process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-262
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

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