Problems and challenges for user participation: The system of representation in reindeer husbandry in Norway
AbstractThis article is based on a case study of reindeer husbandry management in Norway. I argue that the inclusion of resource users in a co-management process may at times increase social tension and weaken the system of governance. The co-management experience indicates that the system works well in most areas. However, because of the differences in contextual circumstances, the system suffers from a legitimacy deficit with respect to how representatives are appointed and how interests are distributed among the various boards. The study argues that even if policies and institutions are adapted to local contexts, there may be a need for a stronger connection between the co-management boards and other institutions, such as the Sami Parliament and the Reindeer Husbandry Administration. Specifically, I argue that instead of increasing legitimacy through equal user-group representation in management decision making, the very structures of the system—in particular, nominations and appointments—may lead to unequal user-group representation and thus threaten the success of the management system.
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