Forest market governance: exploring a practice-based approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Market governance – the use of the market mechanism in governance processes – has become highly popular. The enthusiasm for market-oriented approaches has become so overwhelming that governments even promote new markets in some areas of policy, including for forest conservation. However, doubts exist about how sustainable this mechanism is for conservation. But how can we analyse and evaluate forest markets when several disciplines see markets as something different? As several scientists indicate, a detailed, all-encompassing specification of the market concept is urgently needed. This chapter reviews the different conceptualisations of markets in different disciplines and how they are used in forest market research. A revised conceptualisation of markets as practices is proposed. During the past twenty years practice-based approaches have received growing interest within the social sciences. Recently they have also been introduced in the study of markets as they offer a richer conceptual tool, and therefore a better understanding of the market than other methods. Using the example of the certified timber market, the potential for using a practice-based approach to analyse forestry markets is explored.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForest people interfaces; Understanding community forestry and biocultural diversity
EditorsB.J.M. Arts, S. van Bommel, M.A.F. Ros-Tonen, G.M. Verschoor
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Print)9789086861934
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Forest
  • Governance
  • Markets
  • Practices


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