Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Social Work

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In its efforts to strengthen participatory institutions in forest management, the Uttarakhand hill state of India promoted multiple systems of community-based forest management (CFM hereon) in the hill forests. With a long history of forest use and management, the hill state has drawn increasing attention of scholars and development practitioners interested in making these CFMs more participatory. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, archival and secondary research, the study highlights a complex interplay of internal and external forces driving social actors within the state and the communities to come together, organize, produce and shape the participatory processes and outcomes in diverse forms of CFM systems in the hill forests.The study showed well-defined design of forest-related property rights is promoted widely in multiple networking institutions to strengthen inclusive outcomes of diverse CFMs in Uttarakhand. However, given the dynamic partnership between the state and the communities in CFM systems, participatory processes and outcomes often evolve spontaneously as ad hoc arrangements at the margins, outside these formally recognized CFMs. On one hand, opposing nature of the state’s dual control interact with the different interests and dynamic leadership within the communities, and typical biophysical and contextual factors produce and shape the participatory processes and outcomes in diverse CFMs in complex ways. Local communities, on the other hand, understand common property rights in the forests spontaneously, not necessarily bound by the formal participatory structures and functions, but also emerging at multiple levels, temporarily, or as ad-hoc structures, or at the margins. Recognizing these ad-hoc informal forms of participatory arrangements, and identifying their strengths may better inform and strengthen outcomes of participatory forest management. Given the majority of the state's rural population is dependent on the forests for livelihoods and subsistence, the study contributes to the existing literature interested in understanding conditions conducive to participatory forest management processes and outcomes.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Carolyn K. Lesorogol

Committee Members

Bina Agarwal, Molly Metzger, Sunita Parikh, Jean Francois Trani,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/dmgj-7390

Available for download on Friday, December 15, 2119

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