SDEP Program on Democracy and Environment

The Program on Democracy and Environment houses four efforts:

Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI)

Phase I Directors: Jesse Ribot (UIUC), James Murombedzi (CODESRIA), and Gretchen Walters (IUCN)

The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) is a research and training program, focusing on environmental governance in Africa. The aim of RFGI is to make environmental policy more democratic and emancipatory. The RFGI is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and executed by the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and SDEP at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. RFGI is coordinated and carried out by directors Jesse Ribot, James Murombedzi and Gretchen Walters. The program supported four postdoctoral fellows and 34 researchers working in 14 countries. In Africa, RFGI worked in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Comparative cases were conducted in Nepal and Peru.

RFGI aims to enable responsive and accountable decentralization in forestry and at strengthening the representation of forest-based rural populations in decision making. The word 'responsive' in our title refers to democratic responsiveness – a key element for making projects more effective and relevant to the populations they ostensibly serve. RFGI works to identify ways to enhance responsive and adaptive governance processes that reduce vulnerability, enhance wellbeing, and improve forest management. Responsive and adaptive governance is crucial to equitable and sustainable strategies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and for promoting climate adaptation

Drawing on existing decentralization research and experience, RFGI is looking for pathways to successful decentralization. The Initiative aims to strengthen links between successful decentralization and locally responsive, accountable, and pro-poor outcomes. It assesses the conditions under which central authorities devolve substantial forest management and use decisions to local governments, as well as the conditions that enable local government to reduce poverty through forest management. Local government can serve as the institutional infrastructure for scaling up local participation in public decision making. RFGI aims to enable local governments to play this integrative role in rural development and natural resource management.

RFGI is also based on a model of mentoring we call ‘Higher Education through Comparative Research’ in which the program admits researchers based on the quality of their proposals (independent of the particular disciplines they may be coming from or degrees they may hold). Researchers admitted into this program are expected to conduct the comparative research of the overarching research program and to also have hypotheses and questions of their own. They are guided through this program over a two to three-year period in which they develop their methods, conduct field research, and write up and publish their work. All researchers are expected to publish in peer reviewed journals. The program produced – to date – one policy brief, 35 working papers, and over 115 other publications – that include many journal articles, an edited volume, and a journal special issue.

RFGI Phase I trained 34 young researchers who are now part of the RFGI Africa-wide network of environmental governance analysts. RFGI's 35 working papers, including a democratic forest governance handbook, an action-learning handbook, and a list of many other publications are available at the RFGI Working Paper Listing. The other publications can be found at the  RFGI Other Publications link.

Status: Phase 1, from 2011 through 2015, is complete. Phase II is pending consideration from donors while also shopping for additional funding

RFGI Working Papers & Publications

 RFGI Working Papers

 RFGI Other Publications


RFGI Background Materials

Local Democracy and Vulnerability Reduction in Africa: Political Representation under a Changing Sky

Directors (Co-PIs): Papa Faye (CADRE Centre d’Action pour le Développement et la Recherche en Afrique), Jesse Ribot (UIUC), and Matthew Turner (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

This research project examines local government’s role – the function of political representation – in generating or reducing the current trends in which vulnerable people are migrating out of areas where climate variability is viewed as a driver of outmigration. The project is based on fieldwork in the Tambacounda region of Senegal and the Dantiandou and Say regions of Niger. Senegal and Niger are two countries with elected local government that can provide deeply needed lessons for democratic local authorities wherever climate-related security and migration pressures are at play. This project is funded by the International Center for Local Democracy.

Read more about the project here.

Status: Funded and under way



Economic Development, Climate Change, and the Transition to Renewable Energy

Director: Brian Dill; Principal Investigators: Ashwini Chhatre, Katherine Baylis, and Matthew Winters

This project on renewable energy has received funding ($76,000) from the Interdisciplinary Innovation Initiative (In3) Program at the University of Illinois. SDEP has also provided support for the project by financing a Research Assistant, Shikha Lakhanpal, during Spring and Summer 2012.

The purposes of this project, which will run until May 2014, are twofold. First, it aims to understand the international and global forces that both influence and accelerate the energy transition, or the changeover from an energy system rooted in the extraction and conversion of fossil fuels to one based primarily on renewables. Second, it aims to document and explain the domestic factors that impel and facilitate the shift from non-renewable to renewable energy.

During the 2012-13 academic year there will be a graduate seminar, Globalization of Renewable Energy, which will be team-taught by the PI and co-PIs and will serve to refine the research questions as well as identify specific synergies among faculty and students for promoting interdisciplinarity. The first year will conclude with a 2-day symposium (5-6 April 2013) on the Social Dimensions of Renewable Energy. Professor Dan Kammen (UC Berkeley) will provide the keynote. The project team, along with a small group of international experts and colleagues from across campus will examine three themes related to renewable energy the following day.

Status: Complete.

Institutional Choice and Recognition in Natural Resource Management

Principal Investigator: Jesse Ribot

This research project explores the democratizing effects of natural resource “democratic decentralization” reforms and projects. Many developing countries have launched decentralization reforms to establish and democratize local government. These reforms purport to lead to better service delivery, stronger local development and more sustainable resource management. However, national governments, international development agencies, and other organizations are not empowering local government. Instead, they are transferring power to a wide range of local institutions, including private bodies, customary authorities and non-government organizations. By transferring powers to these other local institutions, states are choosing to “recognize” them in place of democratically-elected local governments. As a result, fledgling local governments receive few public powers and face competition for legitimacy. While planners have long espoused integrated rural development, the new trend in decentralization often results in fragmented forms of authority and belonging. The new trend also dampens long-run prospects for local democratic consolidation.

The Institutional Choice research program examined how the institutional choices made by governments, international development agencies and other organizations impact three dimensions of democracy: 1) representation, 2) belonging and citizenship, and 3) the public domain. This comparative policy research program includes case studies in Benin, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, India, Inner Mongolia, Thailand, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Russia.

Status: Several major research efforts have been completed in The Institutional Choice and Recognition program. The resulting publications are detailed in the Publications list below. The RFGI program, described above, continues this research.

Film as Experimental Research Communication

Principal Investigator: Jesse Ribot

The Film as Experimental Research Communication initiative explores film as a medium for communicating research results to policy makers, development practitioners and affected populations. Initiative projects use dramatic accounts of research results, often laced with irony and humor, in order to move research from the scholarly realm into the realm of policy change and action.

The initiative has so far produced two films based on research in Senegal: The first film, Weex Dunx and the Quota, was completed in 2007. The second film, Semmiñ Ñaari Boor, was completed in January 2010 (see film synopsis box). We are seeking complementary support for the third film.

The Film as Experimental Research Communication initiative not only produces films, but diffuses them and studies their impacts. Weex Dunx and the Quota is being diffused widely, with a focus on Senegalese audiences. With support from the International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD) we completed a study of how the film communicates forest governance research findings to students, policy audiences and affected populations. One example of their utility is that local elected officials in Senegal have used Weex Dunx to create public discussion of the obstacles they face. The films have also spurred national level dialogue on television and journals as well as in the ministries and forest service on the treatment of forest villages in forestry programs. A working paper based on this study "Farce of the Commons: Humor, Irony, and Subordination through a Camera's Lens" was delivered to International Center for Local Democracy in August 2013.

Status: Funding for a third film "The Many Heels of Achilles the REDD Millipede" has been secured as part of the RFGI grant (described above).

Film Synopsis

Semmiñ Ñaari Boor (Double Bladed Axe) tells the story of how residents of the village of Daru Fippu, Senegal become involved in forest management. The Forest Service, through its “Manage the Forest” project, convinces the reluctant villagers to participate in producing charcoal to sell in the capital city, Dakar. The Forest Service promises villagers the project will earn them money for local development. But villagers find that participation means only hard labor and there is no money for development. The Foresters make sure that powerful urban-based merchants maintain control of lucrative charcoal markets. Mbaxan, the sympathetic director of the “Manage the Forest” project, helps the villagers sell a few truckloads of charcoal in the city. But after seeing how high charcoal prices are in Dakar, villagers want to sell all their charcoal there. Daru Fippu federates in order to stand up to the Foresters’ double talk. Semmiñ Ñaari Boor premiered in Dakar, Senegal on January 8, 2010.

Weex Dunx and the Quota: Plucking Local Democracy in Senegal
English: Weex Dunx and the Quota: Plucking Local Democracy in Senegal
French: Weex Dunx et le Quota: Plumer la Démocratie Locale au Sénégal

Semmiñ Ñaari Boor (Double Bladed Axe)
English Subtitles: Semmiñ Ñaari Boor
French Subtitles: Semmiñ Ñaari Boor

Research Report: Farce of the Commons: Humor, Irony, and Subordination through a Camera's Lens

Documentary on RFGI: "Carbonized" - a film done by Fatou Kandé Senghor

Other films related to Professor Jesse Ribot's work

Recent SDEP Democracy and Environment Publications and Products

(For RFGI Working Papers, please see the RFGI Working Papers Listing)

    2018 and Forthcoming

  • Lund, J. F., Rutt, R., and Ribot, J. (2018). “Trends in research on forestry decentralization policies,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 32, pp. 17-22
  • Olemako T.R. (2018). Access to Safe Water, Women's Empowerment, and Decentralization Systems in Tanzania., in Zerai, A., and Sanya, B.N. (eds). Safe Water, Sanitation, and Early Childhood Malnutrition in East Africa: An African Feminist Analysis of the Lives of Women in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. London: Lexington Books, pp 83-96.
  • Ece, M., J. Murombedzi and J. Ribot (eds.). (2018, January). Disempowering Democracy: Local Representation in Community and Carbon Forestry in Africa. A Special Issue Introduction. Conservation and Society.
  • Samndong, R. A., and D. J. Kjosavik. (2017). Gendered forests: exploring gender dimensions in forest governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ecology and Society, 22(4):34. 
  • Nuesiri, O. (2018). Strengths and limitations of conservation NGOs in meeting local needs. In: P.B. Larsen and D. Brockington (eds). The Anthropology of Conservation NGOs: Rethinking the Boundaries. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 203-225.

    2017 and Forthcoming

  • Ribot, J. (2017). Choosing democracy: natural resource management for environmental policy makers, donors and practitioners. The Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD).
  • Faye, P. (2017). The politics of recognition, and the manufacturing of citizenship and identity in Senegal's decentralised charcoal market. Review of African Political Economy,
  • Ribot, J. (2017). Vulnerability does not Fall from the Sky: Addressing a Risk Conundrum. In: R. Kasperson, K. Dow, and N. Pidgeon (eds.), Risk Conundrums: Solving Unsolvable Problems. London: Earthscan.
  • Faye, P. and J. Ribot. (2017). Causes for Adaptation: Access to Forests, Markets and Representation in Eastern Senegal. Sustainability. Vol. 9, No. 311.
  • Agyei, F.K. and P.O.W. Adjei. (2017). Representation without Accountability: Experiences from the Social Responsibility Agreement in Ghana. Forest Policy and Economics, 80, 34-43.
  • Faye, P., T. Haller and J. Ribot. (2017). Shaping Rules and Practice for More Justice. Local Conventions and Local Resistance in Eastern Senegal. Human Ecology, pp.1-11. doi 10.1007/s10745-017-9918-1.
  • Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei, Abrefa Kwaku Busia and George Meyiri Bob-Milliar. (2017). Democratic decentralization and disempowerment of traditional authorities under Ghana’s
    local governance and development system: a spatio-temporal review. Journal of Political Power,
    10(3), 303-25.
  • Milgroom, J. and J. Ribot. (Forthcoming). "Access and Authority in the Great Limpopo Transmigration Program." This article will be part of a special issue on Theory of Access.
  • Adjei, P.O.W and Agyei, F. K. (Forthcoming). Assessment of community representation outcomes of the Modified Taungya System as a decentralized forest governance strategy in Ghana. Journal of Forestry Research (Springer).
  • Dill, B., and A. Chhatre. Forthcoming. Renewable Power in the Age of Globalization. Springer.
  • Nuesiri, E. O. and R.L. Rutt. (Book under review by Palgrave-Macmillan). Not by participation alone: responsive representation in forestry and climate change mitigation programmes.
  • Kalame F., Somorin O., Osafo Y. and Nuesiri E. (Forthcoming), Evolution of REDD+ in Africa. Book Chapter in: Africa in UNFCCC Negotiations. Addis Ababa: UN-ECA.
  • Mbeche R. (Forthcoming) Climbing the ladder of participation: symbolic or substantive representation in preparing Uganda for REDD+? Submitted to Conservation and Society


  • Chomba, S., Kariuki, J., Lund, J.F. and Sinclair, F (2016). Roots of inequity: how the implementation of REDD+ reinforces past injustices. Land Use Policy. 
  • Baruah, M., S. Bobtoya, P. Mbile, and G. Walters. (2016). Governance of restoration and institutions: Working with Ghana’s Community Resource Management Areas. World Development Perspectives, 3, 38-41.
  • Samndong, R.A. (2016). An Appraisal of Village Level Associations for REDD+ Implementation in Buya 1, Bikoro Territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo. In: J. Bobineau and P. Gieg (eds), The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Problems, Progress and Prospects. Afrikanische Studien, Berlin.
  • Davies, J., P. Herrera, J. Ruiz-Mirazo, J. Mohamed-Katerere, I. Hannam, and E.O. Nuesiri. (2016). Improving governance of pastoral lands: Implementing the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. Governance of Tenure Technical Guide No. 6. Rome, IT: UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • Nuesiri, E.O. (2016). Local government authority and representation in REDD+: a case study from Nigeria. International Forestry Review, 18(3), 306-318.
  • Faye, Papa. (2016). Adding Scepticism About ‘Environmentality’: Gender Exclusion Through a Natural Resources Collectivization Initiative in Dionewar, Senegal. In: P. Bose and  H. van Dijk (eds). Dryland Forests: Management and Social Diversity in Africa and Asia. Springer, pp. 95-114.


  • Anderson, E. and H. Zerriffi. (2015). Forest People in Africa: Access, Distribution, and Participation in Governance. RFGI Working Paper No.1. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Mutasa, M. (2015). Review of REDD+ and Carbon-Forestry Projects in RFGI Countries. RFGI Working Paper No.2. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Rutt, R. (2015). Social Protection in REDD+ Initiatives: A Review. RFGI Working Paper No.3. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Kashwan, P. (2015). Studying Local Representation: A Critical Review. RFGI Working Paper No.4. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Ribot, J. (2015). Choix, Reconnaissance et Effets de la Décentralisation sur la Démocratie. RFGI Working Paper No.5. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Nuesiri, E. (2015). The Re-emergence of Customary Authority and its Relation with
    Democratic Government. RFGI Working Paper No.6. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Hiraldo, R. (2015). Calling for Democracy? Villagers' Experience of the Production of
    Class Relations for Ecotourism and Carbon Markets in Niombato, Senegal. RFGI Working Paper No.7. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Samb, C.D. (2015). Quand la Représentation résulte à des Fragmentations d'Identités de Genre. RFGI Working Paper No.8. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Oyono, P.R. (2015). Gouvernance Climatique dans le Bassin du Congo: Reconnaissance des Institutions et Redistribution. RFGI Working Paper No.9. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Oyono, P.R. and F. Ntungila-Nkama. (2015). Zonage des Terres, Conservation des Paysages et Représentation Locale Déboîtée en RD Congo. RFGI Working Paper No.10. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Nuesiri, E. (2015). Representation in REDD: NGOs and Chiefs Privileged over Elected
    Local Government in Cross River State, Nigeria. RFGI Working Paper No.11. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Yamo, A. (2015). Représentation Locale Compromise Dans la Gestion de la Rente Forestière Communautaire au Sud-Est Cameroun. RFGI Working Paper No.12. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Samndong, R.A. (2015). Institutional Choice and Fragmented Citizenship in Forestry and
    Development Interventions in Bikoro Territory of the Democratic Republic
    of Congo. RFGI Working Paper No.13. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Namara, A. (2015). At the Expense of Democracy: Payment for Ecosystem Services in
    Hoima District, Uganda. RFGI Working Paper No.14. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Marfo, E. (2015). The Illusion of Democratic Representation in the REDD Readiness
    Consultation Process in Ghana. RFGI Working Paper No.15. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Chomba, S. (2015). REDD+ Institutional Choices and the Implications for Local
    Democracy in the Kasigau Corridor, Kenya. RFGI Working Paper No.16. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Faye, P. (2015). From Recognition to Derecognition in Senegal's Forests: Hemming in
    Democratic Representation via Technical Claims. RFGI Working Paper No.17. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Kakelengwa, M.B. et Maindo, A. (2015). Déficit de redevabilité dans la gestion de la rente forestière communautaire. RFGI Working Paper 18. Dakar: CODESRIA
  • Eteme, D. (2015). Gouvernance de la redevance forestière annuelle et citoyenneté au Cameroun. RFGI Working Paper 19. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Karambiri, M. (2015). Démocratie locale « en berne » ou péripéties d’un choix institutionnel « réussi » dans la gestion forestière décentralisée au Burkina Faso. RFGI Working Paper 20. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Matata, P. et Oyono, P.R. (2015). Choix institutionnel, gestion autoritaire et privatisation de la rente forestière communautaire en Province Orientale (République démocratique du Congo). RFGI Working Paper 21. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Baruah, M. (2015). Effect of institutional choices on representation in a community resource management area in Ghana. RFGI Working Paper 22. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Ece, M. (2015). Representation through privatisation: regionalization of forest governance in Tambacounda, Senegal. RFGI Working Paper 23. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Mandondo, A. and Jusrut, P. (2015). Waiting for democratic representation in Africa’s social forests. RFGI Working Paper 24. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Ruta, D. (2015). Assuming women’s representation in carbon forestry projects. RFGI Working Paper 25. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Cote, M. (2015). Autochthony, democratisation and forest: the politics of choice in Burkina Faso. RFGI Working Paper 26. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Oyono, P.R. and Galuak, D.A. (2015). Land governance, local authorities and unrepresentative representation in rural South Sudan. RFGI Working Paper 27. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Adjei, P. (2015). Decentralization, institutional choice and the production of disgruntled community representation under the modified taungya forest management system in Ghana. RFGI Working Paper 28. Dakar: CODESRIA
  • Mbeche, E. (2015). REDD stakeholder consultation: symbolic or substantive democratic representation in preparing Uganda for REDD+? RFGI Working Paper 29. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Kijazi, M. (2015). Resources, rents, representation and resistance: the struggle for just conservation on Mount Kilimanjaro. RFGI Working Paper 30. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Mandondo, A. (2015). Examining the democracy outcomes of environmental subsidiarity: the case of a carbon forestry initiative from central Mozambique. RFGI Working Paper 31. Dakar: CODESRIA. 
  • Jusrut, P. (2015). The process of institutional choice and recognition for decentralized forest management in charcoal producing zones of Tambacounda, Senegal. RFGI Working Paper 32. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Agyei, F. (2015). Chiefs, representation and non-citizenship in forestry: lessons from the Social Responsibility Agreement in Ghana. RFGI Working Paper 33. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Ribot, J. (2015). Leveraging democracy through forestry: field testing version (RFGI Handbook I)  RFGI Working Paper 34. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Barrow, E. and others (2015). Implementing improved natural resource governance in practice: an action learning handbook for Sub-Saharan Africa (RFGI Handbook II). RFGI Working Paper 35. Dakar: CODESRIA. 
  • Chomba, S., and Nathan, I. (2015). Illusion of empowerment? Questioning policy and practice of community forestry in Kenya. Ecology and Society.
  • Faye, P. (2015). Choice and power: Resistance to technical domination in Senegal's decentralized forestry. Forest Policy and Economics, 60, 19-26.
  • Gille, Z. (2015). “Ecological modernization or waste-dependent development?: Hungary's 2010 red mud disaster.” In: H. Trischler, R. Odenziel, and H. Weber (eds.). Cycling and Recycling.
  • Hansen, C.P., M. Pouliot, E. Marfo, B.D. Obiri and T. Treue. (2015). Forests, timber and rural livelihoods: Implications for social safeguards in the Ghana-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement. Small Scale Forestry, 14(4), 401-22.
  • Nuesiri, E.O. (2015). Monetary and non-monetary benefits from the Bimbia-Bonadikombo community forest Cameroon: policy implications relevant for carbon emissions reducing programmes. Community Development Journal, 50(4), 661-76.
  • Nuesiri E.O. (2015). Representation in REDD+? Arborvitae 46(11), 11-12.
  • Nuesiri, E.O. (2015). Decentralised forest management as utopia: A response to Asiyanbi. The Geography Journal (
  • Ranganathan, M. and C. Balazs. (2015). Water marginalization at the urban fringe: environmental justice and political ecology across the North-South divide. Urban Geography, 36 (3), 403-23.
  • Samndong, R.A. (2015). Institutional choice and fragmented citizenship in forestry and development interventions in Bikoro Territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Forum for Development Studies, doi: 10.1080/08039410.2015.1115426.
  • Scheba, A. and I. Mustalahti. (2015). Rethinking 'expert' knowledge in community forest management in Tanzania. Forest Policy and Economics, 60, 7-18.
  • Wisner, B., Pelling, M., Mascarenhas, A., Holloway, A., Ndong, B., Faye, P., Ribot, J. and Simon. D. (2015). Small cities in Africa: the challenge and opportunities of climate change. In: S. Pauleit,et al. (eds.).Urban Vulnerability and Climate Change in Africa: a Multidisciplinary Approach. Springer: Future City Series, Vol. 4.


  • Chomba, S., Treue, T. & Sinclair, F. (2014). The political economy of forest entitlements: can community based forest management reduce vulnerability at the forest margin? Forest Policy and Economics.
  • Ribot, J. 2014. Farce of the commons: Humor, irony, and subordination through a camera's lens. Research Report 2. Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy. Visby, Sweden.
  • Murombedzi, J. 2014. Accumulation by dispossession, climate change and natural resources governance in Africa. CODESRIA Newsletter, January 2014.
  • Mustalahti, I. and Rakotonarivo, O.S. (2014). REDD+ and empowered deliberative democracy: learning from Tanzania. World Development.
  • Nuesiri E. O. (2014). Secure tenure must be the foundation of adaptation in East and Southern Africa. Policy Brief 4. Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC) and IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP).
  • Nuesiri E. O. (2014). The re-emergence of customary authority and its relation to local democratic government. Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) Working Paper No. 6. Dakar: CODESRIA.
  • Nuesiri E. O. (2014). Decentralized forest management: towards a utopian realism. The Geography Journal, doi: 10.1111/geoj.12104.
  • Pollini, J., Hockley, N., Muttenzer, F. and B. Ramamonjisoa. (2014). The transfer of natural resources management rights to local communities through GELOSE and GCF contracts. In: B. Ferguson and Y. Scales (eds). Conservation and Environmental Management in Madagascar. Earthscan: Oxford.
  • Pollini, J. (2014). Slash-and-burn agriculture. In: P. B. Thompson and D. M. Kaplan (eds). Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer: New York.
  • Pollini, J. (2014). Slash-and-burn agriculture. In: Thompson, P. B. and D. M. Kaplan (eds). Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer: New York.Pollini, J. (2014). Construction of nature. In: Richardson, D., Castree, N., Goodchild, M., Liu, W., Kobayashi, A. and Richard Marston (eds.).International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Wiley-AAG.
  • Pollini, J. (2014). Construction of nature. In D. Richardson, N. Castree, M. Goodchild, W. Liu, A. Kobayashi and R. Marston (eds). International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Wiley-AAG.
  • Ranganathan, M. (2014). Paying for water, claiming citizenship: political agency and water reforms at the urban periphery. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(2), 590-608.
  • Ranganathan, M. (2014). Mafias in the waterscape: informality and everyday public authority in Bangalore. Water Alternatives, 7(1), 89-105.


  • Alexander, C., N. Gregson, and Z. Gille. 2013. “Leftovers and Waste.” In: A. Murcott, W. Belasco, and P. Jackson (eds.). The Handbook of Food Research. Berg Publishers.
  • Pollini, J. (2013). Bruno Latour and the ontological dissolution of nature in the social sciences: a critical review. Environmental Values, 22, 25-42.
  • Ranganathan, M. 2013. "Financialized and Insurgent: The Dialectics of Participation in Bangalore's Neoliberal Water Reforms." In: K. Coelho, M. Vijaybaskar, and L. Kamath (eds.). Participolis: Consent and Contention in Neoliberal Urban Governance. New Delhi: Routledge.
  • Ribot, J. 2013. Foreword to Jin Sato (ed.). Governance of Natural Resources: Uncovering the Social Purpose of Materials in Nature. Tokyo: UNU Press.
  • Ribot, J. (2013). Representation, citizenship and the public domain: choice andrecognition in democratic decentralization. In J. Öjendal and A. Dellnäs (eds.) The Imperative of Good Local Governance: Challenges for the Next Decade of Decentralization. Tokyo: UNU Press, pp. 93-120.
  • 2012

  • Ribot, J., and A.M. Larson. 2012. “Reducing REDD Risks: Affirmative Policy on an Uneven Playing Field.” International Journal of the Commons.
  • Murombedzi, J., and J. Ribot. 2012. “Occupy Nature: Representation as the Basis of Emancipatory Environmentalism.” Vivre Autrement: La magazine des autres mondes possibles. ENDA 23 June 2012.
  • Agrawal, A. and J. Ribot. 2012. “Assessing the Effectiveness of Democratic Accountability Mechanisms in Local Governance.” Report commissioned for USAID by Management Systems International (MSI) Project, No. 380000.12–500–03–11.
  • Gille, Z. 2012. “Sociology of Waste.” In: C. A. Zimring (ed.). Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste. (p. 833-837). Sage.
  • Gille, Z. 2012. “Socialist Societies.” In: C. A. Zimring (ed.). Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste. (p. 829-830). Sage.
  • Marino, E. and J. Ribot. (2012). Special Issue Introduction: adding insult to injury: climate change, social stratification, and the inequities of intervention.Global Environmental Change, 22(2), 323-38.
  • Pollini, J. (2012). Understanding agricultural intensification on a forest frontier in Madagascar: elements for a Malthusian/Boserupian synthesis. In: Sumberg, J. and J. Thompson, (eds.). Contested Agronomy: The Politics of Agricultural Research in a Changing World. Earthscan: Oxford.
  • Ribot, J. 2012. “Choix, Reconnaissance et Effets de la Décentralisation sur la Démocratie.” CODESRIA RFGI Working Paper Series.
  • Marino. E., and J. Ribot. 2012. “Adding Insult to Injury: Climate Change and the Inequities of Climate Intervention.” Pre-copy Edit Version. Global Environmental Change 22(2).
  • 2011

  • Agrawal, A., D. Nepstad, and A. Chhatre. 2011. “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 36:373-396.
  • Bassett, T., and S. Straus. 2011. “Defending Democracy in Côte d’Ivoire: Africa Takes a Stand.” Foreign Affairs 90(4):130-140.
  • Persha, L., A. Agrawal, and A. Chhatre. 2011. “Social and Ecological Synergy: Local Rulemaking, Forest Livelihoods, and Biodiversity Conservation.” Science 331:1606-1608.
  • Poteete, A., and J. Ribot. 2011. “Repertoires of Domination: Decentralization as Process in Botswana and Senegal” World Development 39(3):439-449.
  • Ribot, J. 2011. “Seeing REDD for Local Democracy: A Call for Democracy Standards” Common Voices 3:14-16.
  • Ribot, J. 2011. “Participation Without Representation: Chiefs, Councils and Forestry Law in the West African Sahel.” In: A. Cornwall (ed.). The Participation Reader. London: Zed Books. [Reprinted from 1996. Cultural Survival Quarterly 20(1).]
  • Ribot, J. 2011. “Comment on ‘The Realities of Participatory Forest Management: Case Study Analyses from Tanzania, Mozambique, Laos and Vietnam.’” In: I. Mustalahti (ed.). Footprints in Forests: Effects and Impacts of Finnish Forestry Assistance. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland. 
  • Ribot, J., and Anne M. Larson. 2011. “Reducing REDD Risks: Affirmative Policy on an Uneven Playing Field.” In: T. Sikor & J. Stahl (eds.). Forests and People: Property, Governance, and Human Rights. London: Earthscan.
  • 2010

  • Dill, B. 2010. “Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Norms of Participation in Tanzania: Working Against the Grain.” African Studies Review 53(2):23-48.
  • Dill, B. 2010. “Public-Public Partnerships in Urban Water Provision: The Case of Dar es Salaam.” Journal of International Development 22:611-624.
  • Gille, Z. 2010. “Reassembling the Macrosocial: Modes of Production, Actor Networks and Waste Regimes.” Environment and Planning A 42(5):1049-1064.
  • Persha, L., H. Fischer, A. Chhatre, A. Agrawal, and C. Benson. 2010. “Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihoods in Human-Dominated Landscapes: Forest Commons in South Asia.” Biological Conservation 143(12):2918-2925.
  • Ribot, J., T. Treue, and J.F. Lund. 2010. “Democratic Decentralization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Its Contribution to Forest Management, Livelihoods, and Enfranchisement.” Environmental Conservation 37(1):35-44.
  • Sikor, T., J. Stahl, T. Enters, J. Ribot, N. Singh, W.D. Sunderlin, and L. Wollenberg. 2010. “REDD-plus, Forest People’s Rights and Nested Climate Governance.” Global Environmental Change 20(3):423-425.
  • 2009

  • Chhatre, A. and A. Agrawal. 2008. “Forest Commons and Local Enforcement.” PNAS 105(36):13286-13291.
  • Dill, B. 2009. “The Paradoxes of Community-Based Participation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.” Development and Change 40(4):717-743.
  • Gille, Z. 2009. “From Nature as Proxy to Nature as Actor.” Introduction to thematic cluster “Nature, Culture and Power.” Slavic Review 68(1):1-9.
  • Gille, Z. 2009. Thematic cluster “Nature, Culture and Power.” Slavic Review 68(1).
  • Perha, L., H. Ojha, and A. Chhatre. 2009. “Community Forestry in Nepal: A Policy Innovation for Local Livelihoods.” International Food Policy Research Institute Discussion Paper #913.
  • Ribot, J. 2009. “Access over Authority: Recentralizing Benefits in Senegal’s Forestry Decentralization.” Development and Change 40(1). [this publication accompanies the film Weex Dunx]
  • Ribot, J. 2009. “Forestry and Democratic Decentralization in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Rough Review.” In: L.A. German, A. Karsenty, and A. Tiani (eds.), pp. 29-55. Governing Africa’s Forests in a Globalized World. London: Earthscan. [Also available in French.]
  • 2008

  • Agrawal, A., A. Chhatre, and R. Hardin. 2008. “Changing Governance of World’s Forests.” Science 320:1460-62.
  • Chhatre, A. 2008. “Political Articulation and Accountability in Decentralization: Theory and Evidence from India.” Conservation and Society 6(1):12-21.
  • Ribot, J., A. Chhatre, and T.V. Lankina. 2008. “The Politics of Choice and Recognition in Democratic Decentralization.” Conservation and Society 6(1):1-11.
  • 2006

  • Ribot, J. 2006. “Choose Democracy: Environmentalists’ Socio-political Responsibility.” Global Environmental Change 16(2):115-119.


  • 2010. Semmiñ Ñaari Boor.