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Unofficial road building in the Brazilian Amazon: dilemmas and models for road governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2007

STEPHEN G. PERZ
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, 3219 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, PO Box 117330, Gainesville, FL 32611-7330, USA
CHRISTINE OVERDEVEST
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, 3219 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, PO Box 117330, Gainesville, FL 32611-7330, USA
MARCELLUS M. CALDAS
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, Kansas State University, 118 Seaton Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-2904, USA
ROBERT T. WALKER
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, 116 Geography Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1117, USA
EUGÊNIO Y. ARIMA
Affiliation:
Environmental Studies Program, 206 Lansing Hall, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Box 4178,Geneva, NY 14456, USA

Abstract

Unofficial roads form dense networks in landscapes, generating a litany of negative ecological outcomes, but in frontier areas they are also instrumental in local livelihoods and community development. This trade-off poses dilemmas for the governance of unofficial roads. Unofficial road building in frontier areas of the Brazilian Amazon illustrates the challenges of ‘road governance.’ Both state-based and community-based governance models exhibit important liabilities for governing unofficial roads. Whereas state-based governance has experienced difficulties in adapting to specific local contexts and interacting effectively with local peoples, community-based governance has a mixed record owing to social inequalities and conflicts among local interest groups. A state-community hybrid model may offer more effective governance of unofficial road building by combining the oversight capacity of the state with locally-grounded community management via participatory decision-making.

Type
Papers
Copyright
2007 Foundation for Environmental Conservation

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