Most deforestation studies either feature micro-level cases or global-comparative cross-country regressions. The first run serious dangers of overly site-specific reasoning, the second of universal over-generalisation. Tom Rudel’s book takes a refreshing and innovative middle-of-the-road approach. It collects findings from 270 national or sub-national land-use change studies published prior to 2003, and synthesizes them into a meso-level analysis, revealing common trends and causalities for seven sub-continental tropical regions. Integrating previous results from 1996, Rudel is also able to identify changes in regional de- and reforestation drivers between the 1970/80s and the 1990s. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) empowered by Boolean algebra is his principal analytical tool, but he resists temptations of mechanical explanations: verbally weaving the multiple patchy cases into a picture coherent in space and time is at least as important as an achievement of this book.
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Publication Year: 2007
Source: Ecological Economics 61(2-3)