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Lehmbruch Abstract

Statist Forest Governance: From path dependence to Crisis.
A perspective from comparative political science and a case study on Russia

Barbara Lehmbruch (The Hague) and Gerhard Lehmbruch (Konstanz)

Forestry as an economic sector has so far not received much attention from the discipline of political science (which, as of now, has not fully recognized the recent development of a “forest political science”). We will first attempt to put forestry  into the larger conceptual framework developed for the comparative study of modern capitalist economies ,based on typologies of regimes or modes of governance. Some of the basic theoretical and methodological  issues here are “historical institutionalism” (involving controversial discussions about “path dependence” and its limits) and the respective role of institutions and discourses. We will then discuss the reasons for the remarkable resilience of the “statist” type of forest governance in the core country cluster of Germany and France and recent challenges to the hegemony of the discourse of classical forestry. An important question will be the impact of globalization and of the fiscal crisis. Recent trends in the governance  of forestry in Russia will be discussed as a contrast to the German and French cases.



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