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Research article2013Peer reviewed

Models of Representation and Participation in Model Forests: Dilemmas and Implications for Networked Forms of Environmental Governance Involving Indigenous People

Klenk, Nicole Lisa; Reed, Maureen G.; Lidestav, Gun; Carlsson, Julia


Our study of two Model Forests illustrates the complex nature of representation in governance networks, in which different traditions of governance, persistent political disagreement and historical adversaries work together to achieve some goal. Using Pitkin's (1967) models of representation, we examined the role of social practices in giving meaning to representation in two model forests in Canada and in Sweden. Two normative models of representation (e.g., trustee and delegate) guided our interpretation of the enactment of representation in the two model forests mainly by highlighting how such models may be culturally biased-resulting in dilemmas of governance for actors that do not ascribe such meanings to representation. These insights led to a greater appreciation for the significance of politics in the enactment of representation, especially with regards to the political aspirations that motivate participatory and deliberative environmental governance. Our analysis suggests that the legitimacy and effectiveness of natural resource and environmental governance networks are affected by the rules structuring participation and deliberation, which are substantiated in social practices of representation in these networks. Our work further suggests that the analysis of representation in network forms of governance cannot be separated from an analysis of the politics of competing interests, especially whose interests are advanced and how these interests are given voice in steering environmental governance. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment


Governance; Aboriginal People; Indigenous People; Model Forests; Representation; Environmental Policy; networks

Published in

Environmental Policy and Governance
2013, Volume: 23, number: 3, pages: 161-176