Congo Basin forests and climate change: between discourse and institutional analysis

O.A. Somorin, H.C.P. Brown, D. Sonwa, B.J.M. Arts

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


The potential role of the Congo Basin forests as the “second lungs of the earth” in the global carbon budget is currently receiving both scientific and political attention. With a complex triad of safeguarding the livelihoods of its multiple dependent-societies, contributing to national economies, and the emerging “carbon-driven conservation” through REDD; the forest is fi nding itself in a new global debate. This paper seeks to theorize and analyze the current policy discourse and institutional dynamics around the Congo Basin forests under the changing climate. For discourse analysis, we use the Policy Arrangement Approach as an analytical framework. The framework is shaped in terms of policy discourses, actors and coalitions, resources and power and rules of the game. For institutional architecture, we combine the cross-cutting themes of the Earth System Governance and insights from neo-Gramscian and governmentality perspective: 1) the nature of power and infl uence; 2) the dynamics between structure and agency; 3) the relationship between state and non-state actors; and 4) the rationalities and practices of governance. Analysis of in-depth interviews from Cameroon, CAR and DRC show that central to discourse and institutional analyses is the pragmatic interaction of the duality of structure (rules and norms) and agency (actors).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-434
JournalInternational Forestry Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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