Envisioning REDD+ and Environmentality Discourses in Lindi Community-based Carbon Enterprises in Rural Southern Tanzania

Danstan Mukono


The paper provides an analytical lens for understanding the politics configuring experts’ knowledge framing underlying “Reduced Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation” (REDD+) Project in Lindi Rural District, Tanzania drawing from the Foucauldian concept of governmentality. Foucauldian grapples broadly with a question of power and how it becomes exercised in various intersections of sovereignty, disciplinary, biopower, and governmental mechanisms shapes power/knowledge which govern state’s and actors’ subjectivities. The main argument is that REDD+, as a governance mechanism, has increasingly been configured by neoliberalmarket rationality. Yet, little attention has been made in Tanzania to analyze knowledge as tool of power in shaping conservation interventions. Similar to other climate change discourses, for REDD+, it is interesting to note that since 2009 during its inception, neoliberal-market narratives are instrumentalized to merge markets, enterprise, welfare and social payment to articulate its relevance. In this attempt to utilize the governmentality lens drawing from the project reports, scientific studies conducted during the implementation of REDD+ and interviews with project officials unfold inherent power dynamics. Inspired by Angela Oels, the paper analyzes the production of REDD+ visibilities, fields of knowledge, practice, and subjectivities that configure these official narratives. The paper concludes that the intention of the REDD+ producing neoliberal market-based logic and discursive practices is to reposition and create veraciously self-regulating and enterprising communities who rationally calculate benefits provided by carbon market signals.

Key words: REDD+, Governmentality, Discourse Analysis, power/knowledge

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