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Title: An institutional approach to protected area management performance in southern Africa
Author: James, S. W. P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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This study adopts, develops, and applies an institutional approach to protected area management performance. The approach attempts to provide a unifying analytical structure and language, based on the framework, concepts, and definitions of institutional theory (North, 1990). Its premise is that a country's formal institutions, informal institutions, and their enforcement characteristics interact to create a set of incentives which guide the behaviour of its conservation stakeholders, and it is this behaviour that largely determines conservation outcomes. To evaluate its explanatory power, the institutional approach is tested on two discrete country case studies, Botswana and Namibia, followed by a cross-country comparison. The case studies assess management performance in each country's Category II protected areas (national parks) to see if conservation outcomes reflect the formally stated management objectives or the prevailing institutional conditions (as predicted). The case studies are followed by a comparative analysis of Botswana and Namibia's perspective non-institutional characteristics, institutional characteristics, and conservation outcomes. In both Botswana and Namibia, protected area management performance is largely consistent with the institutional incentives guiding stakeholder behaviour, though theory and data constraints preclude totally straightforward conclusions. When comparing the two countries, the framework and language of the institutional approach illuminates why, despite a striking number of non-institutional similarities, their conservation outcomes are different. While many of the conclusions of the institutional approach are consistent with the current state of knowledge, for example that cultural characteristics can influence conservation outcomes, what it does offer is a theoretical context for these findings which has been absent from literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available