Prakash Kashwan is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut.
Democracy in the Woods also makes an important contribution to the literature on institutional change ... Kashwan incorporates structure and agency into his analysis in a way that is reminiscent of Anthony Giddens' structuration theory ... The book is an important contribution to the emerging body of work seeking to bridge the gap between historical institutionalism and rational choice institutionalism. --Craig M. Kauffman, Perspectives on Politics Careful, insightful scholarship. Highly recommended. - CHOICE As Kashwan's excellently researched book shows, choosing between land rights of the peasants and forest dwellers and environmental sustainability is a false choice. - The Wire Kashwan's brilliant book offers a multi-scale political analysis of the production of policy for the control and use of nature. He develops a neat way of analyzing how national forestry regimes come to be and how they act for and on different classes of people. - Jesse Ribot, Professor of Geography, University of Illinois Combines multi-level analysis with nuanced cross-national comparison to reveal how historical legacies, the state, local politics and social actors interact to shape conflicts over social equity and environmental conservation. - Jonathan Fox, Professor, School of International Service, American University In Democracy in the Woods, Prakash Kashwan takes an ambitious step in the comparative analysis of land rights and environmental politics in a study that spans three continents. Kashwan explains how, in contexts of great social inequality, political institutions and processes mediate links between forest conservation, local land rights, and social justice outcomes. He challenges both scholars and activists to broaden their understanding of sources of challenge and opportunity in conservation and land-rights politics. - Catherine Boone, Professor of Comparative Politics, London School of Economics A hugely significant contribution to our understanding of the social justice dimensions of environmental policy. Kashwan brings in the third dimension of economic growth as well as giving this book a distinctive niche. - Jairam Ramesh, MP, former Minister of Environment and Forests, Rural Development, 2009-2014 Government of India The book powerfully reminds us that both conservation and social justice outcomes related to land have more to do with de facto implementation of governance regimes than with the de jure construction of those regimes and, in doing so, it reminds scholars of all forms of institutions and governance regimes that the failure of state agencies to enforce laws and policies may not be a lack of state capacity per se so much as the outcome of the state responding to the diverse pressures that are placed upon it by powerful actors with competing interests. - The European Journal of Development Research ... a powerful portrayal of the complexities of governance and justice contained in the issues of land displacement and environmental conservation, which can both contribute to widening livelihood and habitat insecurity. - LSE Review of Books In this exceptionally detailed and ambitious study, Kashwan sets out to explain the divergence of forestland institutions in three cases-India, Mexico, and Tanzania-by crafting a rich historical account of the interactions between colonial legacies, populist politics, and contemporary global environmental politics. -Global Environmental Politics This is a dense and informative book that successfully integrates an historical analysis of rights with a discussion of current political conflicts. - The Journal of Peasant Studies Kashwan argues persuasively that there is no simple trade-off between poverty reduction and environmental conservation, and that a crucial determinant of the form of national environmental protection is whether parties provide an avenue for peasants to effectively challenge forest regimes not in their interest... Careful, insightful scholarship. Highly recommended. - CHOICE I recommend [Kashwan's] book to anyone concerned about the fraught relationship between conservation and social injustice. His book challenges us to turn away from small technocratic fixes and refocus on big issues. Hopefully, we are up to the task. - Robert Wasserstrom, Society and Natural Resources [A]n ambitious, scholarly, and challenging book...[and] an erudite study, littered with inspiration and readings from numerous fields. It is a significant contribution to a growing corpus of important work from this author that explores the relationship between conservation, marginality, and politics. - Dan Brockington, Conservation and Society Prakash Kashwan sets...an ambitious goal of drilling down deeper into the India, Tanzania, and Mexico comparison in the specific domain of 'forestland regimes'. ... Kashwan has taken on a bewildering mass of empirical detail in his cross-temporal and cross-scale analysis and is largely successful in his goal of analyzing the structures of political intermediation in the comparative case studies. - International Journal of the Commons The book is an exemplary work of comparative politics, situated at the intersection of multiple disciplines and approaches including political science, historical institutionalism, development studies, environmental history and political ecology. By weaving theories and concepts across these disciplines, Kashwan develops a novel theoretical framework he calls a political economy of institutions, which allows him to ask a range of pertinent questions about the relationship between institutions, power and forest conservation. - Adeniyi P. Asiyanbi, Environmental Politics Democracy in the Woods provides a refreshing look at the comparative politics of forest conservation, state formation, and social justice. [It] is a timely and engaging analysis of the factors affecting resource conservation, social mobilization, and environmental justice. - Journal of Politics