Techno-bureaucratic doxa and challenges for deliberative governance: The case of community forestry policy and practice in Nepal
Despite repeated pleas for participatory and deliberative governance of environmental resources, there is still a predominance of technocratic values in environmental decision-making. This is especially true in the context of forest management in the Global South where centralised and technically-oriented colonial approaches of the past continue to be reproduced and exclude affected people to have their say and share in forest related decision-making and benefit distribution. Taking a case study from Nepal?s Community Forestry Program, this paper shows that despite major shifts towards practices of participatory forestry, the technocratic domination of forest science in governance has taken new and more subtle forms (considered ?doxa? ? taken for granted forms ? after Bourdieu) of control over forestry practices. In this paper, techno-bureaucratic doxa is problematised as a key challenge to deliberative governance, and specific ways are illustrated through which it constrains deliberation in forest governance. Emerging moments of crisis in this doxa are also identified to explore possibilities for greater citizen-public official deliberation in forest governance.