Political theory in forest policy science

W. de Jong, B.J.M. Arts, M. Krott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The use of theory in forest policy studies has given a new face to forest policy science, as it matured from an applied academic field to a specialized sub-discipline. In addition to doing science to support policy, forest policy academics engage in research to expand policy sciences. The link to theory enables the forest policy researcher to generalize findings. The successful use of theory in analyzing a specific forest policy issue is a “test” of the theory and an important contribution to the general academic discussion of each theory. Existing theories can be adjusted and refreshed through forest policy studies. Forest policy studies have a tendency to follow trends, and choose theories that are in vogue to analyze forest policy cases. As such, forest policy science is well integrated into the broader field of policy sciences and political sciences in general. Apart from the modest contributions to the dominant policy theories, forest policy science has become internationalized over the last two decades and is thus perhaps more capable of serving as a vehicle for broad theory development and theory cross fertilization than political sciences sub-disciplines with a more narrow geographic focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Issue numberMarch
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Critical theory
  • Forest policy
  • Policy sciences
  • Political theory
  • Positivist theory


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