University of Leicester
2020KONOAKPhD.pdf (5.62 MB)
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Effects of REDD+ Governmentality: Creating an Expert Theatre whilst Limiting Climate Action

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posted on 2020-07-22, 09:10 authored by Akihito Kono
This thesis investigates the effects of donor-recipient power relations and knowledge politics among experts on national REDD+ processes in Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. From a poststructuralist perspective that builds on Foucauldian notions of governmentality, the thesis offers a unique insight into viewpoints of actors, representing national governments, donor agencies, multilateral institutions, and international and national civil society organisations. The thesis sheds light on the issue of power inequality between developed and developing countries that hinders the progress of REDD+ at the national level. Main findings of this thesis suggest that REDD+ in the case study countries
operated as ‘an expert theatre’ among international and national REDD+ experts who acted as service providers to donor countries to operationalise the visions, norms and values of donors through REDD+. At the same time, the role of the central authorities in the case study countries was reduced to passive recipients of international support. As a result, the impact potential of REDD+ in the case study countries was significantly limited due to the lack of national ownership and political commitment to REDD+. With these findings, this thesis adds to recent stocktaking studies and debates on REDD+ and the growing body of knowledge concerning the effects of power through global environmental governance, particularly from a human geographical perspective.



Caroline Upton; Susan Page

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Geography

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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    University of Leicester Theses