Development Through Bricolage: Rethinking Institutions for Natural Resource Management

Development Through Bricolage: Rethinking Institutions for Natural Resource Management

by Frances Cleaver


View All Available Formats & Editions


Why, despite an emphasis on 'getting institutions right', do development initiatives so infrequently deliver as planned? Why do many institutions designed for natural resource management (e.g. Water User Associations, Irrigation Committees, Forest Management Councils) not work as planners intended? This book disputes the model of development by design and argues that institutions are formed through the uneven patching together of old practices and accepted norms with new arrangements. The managing of natural resources and delivery of development through such processes of 'bricolage' is likened to 'institutional 'DIY' rather than engineering or design.

The author explores the processes involved in institutional bricolage; the constant renegotiation of norms, the reinvention of tradition, the importance of legitimate authority and the role of people themselves in shaping such arrangements. Bricolage is seen as an inevitable, but not always benign process; the extent to which it reproduces social inequalities or creates space for challenging them is also considered. The book draws on a number of contemporary strands of development thinking about collective action, participation, governance, natural resource management, political ecology and wellbeing. It synthesises these to develop new understandings of why and how people act to manage resources and how access is secured or denied. A variety of case studies ranging from the management of water (Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan), conflict and cooperation over land, grazing and water (Tanzania), and the emergence of community management of forests (Sweden, Nepal), illustrate the context specific and generalised nature of bricolage and the resultant challenges for development policy and practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844078691
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 08/03/2012
Series: Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Frances Cleaver is Professor of Environment and Development at Kings College, London. She wrote the bulk of this book while a Reader in International Development Studies at the University of Bradford.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Preface 1. Getting Institutions Right: Interrogating Theory and Policy 2. Introducing Bricolage 3. The Way we have Always Done it 4. Plural Institutions; New Arrangements, Old Inequalities? 5. Continuity and Change: Gendered Agency and Bricolage 6. Piecing Together Policy Knowledge: Promises and Pitfalls 7. Remapping the Institutional Landscape 8. Transforming Institutions? Index

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews