Formal decentralisation and the imperative of decentralisation ‘from below’: a case study of natural resource management in Nicaragua

Formal decentralisation and the imperative of decentralisation ‘from below’: a case study of natural resource management in Nicaragua

This article argues that decentralization of natural resource management is a political
process resisted by the central government due to the feared loss of power and/or
economic resources to local governments. In Nicaragua, although the formal process of
power transfers largely stagnated from 1997 to 2003, decentralization ‘from below’
continued to advance thanks to political pressure from civil society and municipal
governments and the increasing legitimacy of local authority. At the same time, many
municipal governments have little interest in resource management where there are few
apparent economic benefits. Local governments, too, however, respond, among other
things, to pressure from constituents and NGOs to take on resource management
initiatives. At both levels of government, local and grassroots processes are necessary
conditions to make formal decentralization democratic and responsible.

Authors: Larson, A.M.

Topic: decentralization,natural resources,local government,governance

Geographic: Nicaragua

Publication Year: 2004

ISSN: 0957-8811

Source: European Journal of Development Research 16(1): 55-70

DOI: 10.1080/09578810410001688734

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