Revisiting Reconceptualization of Power Relations and REDD+ Scholarship in the Global South

Danstan Mukono


This paper examines power as a conceptual lens for understanding Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation plus (REDD+) scholarship in the Global South. It focuses on the underlying argument that conservation problematization, practices, and execution are complex and variegated in shaping asymmetric power relations. This demonstrates that REDD + power framing is not unilinear but has theoretical commonalities and differences that need systematic documentation, yet scanty and discrete. Thus, it reexamines recent debates and theoretical trends on REDD+ through power approaches. It has shown that analysing the complexity of power relations reveals uneven power structures shaping REDD+ with associated inequitable relations. Also, the paper highlights specific ideas, strategies and initiatives by those powerful actors have produced in extending coloniality for controlling forest-landdependent communities and their actions to resist it. It showcases how current critical theories and policy debates are crucial for realizing a just and equitable conservation model in the Global South.

Keywords: Power, REDD+, social difference, Global South

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