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Multistakeholder environmental governance in action: REDD+ discourse coalitions in Tanzania

Salla Rantala, University of Helsinki; University of Eastern Finland
Monica Di Gregorio, University of Leeds


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Balancing interests to achieve legitimate and effective policies is a primary and pressing challenge in countries’ efforts to prepare their national reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) strategies. Using Tanzania as a country case, we investigated the most polarizing policy discourses and assessed the influence of competing discourse coalitions on the drafting of the national REDD+ strategy. We combined discourse and social network analysis to identify discourse coalitions and assess their influence. The findings indicate that the national REDD+ strategy largely reflects the positions of the discourse coalition that is controlled by powerful state actors who support central control of REDD+ financial mechanisms. The competing coalition, led by civil society organizations, has limited influence on the national strategy, despite discursive congruence and concerted political action. The findings further indicate that discursive practices and institutional rules codetermine policy outcomes.

Key words

discourse coalitions; power; REDD+; social network analysis; Tanzania

Copyright © 2014 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087