Cambodia’s political forests

cockGoverning Cambodia’s Forests. The International Politics of Policy Reform is a new book from NIAS Press and authored by Andrew Cock.

It is reviewed for JCA by Frédéric Bourdier of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2016.1244283).

The reviewer says that Cock is “one of the first social scientists to deal conscientiously with the political economy of forests in Cambodia. Nobody has written so extensively on “forest governance in the context of international politics of policy with a particular focus on its economic dimension.” He does so with several case studies and an intimate knowledge of the sector.

While the reviewer provides some criticisms, he concludes:

the book can be highly recommended. Solid, but not always with updated references, along with a few engaging illustrations and a very useful index, the succession of the chapters facilitates an easy reading of the 302 pages found here, all of which are well written. Furthermore, its eloquent style makes the book accessible, not only for interested academics, but for a general audience unaware of the dynamics that exist in one of the countries of the Great Mekong Sub-region. It is certainly a must-read for development professionals, and not only for those dealing with forest issues. Both policy makers, implementers and forest specialists should read the book if they want to broaden their vision of what development means and what this concept, when applied to forest governance, makes sense for: not only for the people and the external donors, but for the national actors and in particular the privileged ones who apparently know perfectly how to appropriate an important part of the aid flow to the detriment of the rural impoverished

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