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Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 33;

Policy Discourses and Marginal Places: Histories of Environmental Democracy in India and Sweden

Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7012, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Academic Editor: Rebecca R. Scott
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender, Environment, and Development)
Full-Text   |   PDF [232 KB, uploaded 17 March 2017]


Past decades have been marked with grassroots struggles around the use and access to natural resources such as forests, both in the global South and in the global North. On the one hand, we have politicians, bureaucrats and others needing to deal with these issues at the national and global level. On the other, we have the material practices and struggles at the local level as well as a parallel discourse on decentralization to local areas from the past few decades. By tracing the historical changes in policies that touch on forests-peoples relationships in India and Sweden, I contextualize these trends by placing them in a historical context and examine the questions that are central to a critical examination for environmental governance today. I analyze how environmental policy-making shaped forest politics in the two places and what spaces it provided for environmental democracy—especially in relation to possibilities for people’s participation and for gender equality. I bring attention to the imperative to take account of questions of increasing expert dominance in environmental governance and local struggles, the space for local people’s participation in forest and rural politics, the gendering of these spaces and relationships and how that affects environmental politics. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental history; democracy; gender; Sweden; India; policy-making environmental history; democracy; gender; Sweden; India; policy-making
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Arora-Jonsson, S. Policy Discourses and Marginal Places: Histories of Environmental Democracy in India and Sweden. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 33.

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