This paper aims to assess the emergence of the concept of forest governance in the field of forest policy analysis. This assessment is mainly theoretical in nature. The various meanings and main criticisms of forest governance will be dealt with. In so doing, the paper applies the so-called ‘Triple G’ perspective (government, governance, governmentality). Firstly, the paper explains theemergence of the forest governance concept fromthe shortcomings of forest government, or ‘state forestry’ (overexploitation, policy failure, corruption). In a next step, it also criticises the concept of forest governance, now using a governmentality perspective. This latter view assumes that control by the state and self-governance by people go hand in hand. It thus challenges one of the key assumptions inmany governance studies, namely that the state has substantiallywithdrawn fromthe forest sector and that forest politics has been relocated from the state to the market and to society.