Interrogating Nepal’s Contribution to the scholarship on Gender, Collective Action and Environmental Governance

- Bimbika Basnet

Discussion Type: Mangalbaarey | Date: 08 Jan 2013 | Time: 03:00 PM


Research carried out in Nepal has made a profound contribution to the theoretical and policy oriented scholarship on gender, collective action and environmental governance worldwide. With the aid of her longstanding commitment to draw on studies conducted in Nepal amongst other countries, the Nobel Prize winning economist Elinor Ostrom demonstrated how and why local communities are best suited to govern resources collectively rather than the government and the private sector, and the institutions that are required to ensure optimal outcomes. Emphasizing the importance of the gender composition of such local “communities”, in her most recent and increasingly applauded work from India and Nepal, the feminist economist Bina Agarwal demonstrates that including women in the governance of forests are both good for women and environment alike. This paper will critically interrogate these varying contributions and argue that they provide a narrow and simplistic understanding of the gendered and societal relations that characterise contemporary Nepal as well as the instances of “institutional bricolage”, or borrowing of rules and norms, between the wider society and governance of resources. Drawing on her PhD research on gender and the politics of community forestry governance, the presentation will, therefore, call for further re-visiting as well as broadening the contributions that Nepal has made to this wider scholarship.
(This discussion has been organized in collaboration with the Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

- Bimbika Basnet

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