The reduction of illegal logging and related trade has been on the international policy agenda since the 1990s. The EU's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade initiative (EU-FLEGT) seeks to address illegal logging through a scheme that rests on multistakeholder negotiations. However, past initiatives seeking to reform forest governance in the global South have reproduced the uneven outcomes of colonial forest governance by further empowering national government authorities. In the case of Thailand, FLEGT negotiations between November 2013 and April 2021 succeeded in opening a political space for civil society to engage with government actors. However, FLEGT negotiations during this period failed to address the uneven outcomes of forest governance, benefiting elites at the expense of the rural poor due to an 'anti-politics effect. The FLEGT multistakeholder negotiations did not consider the uneven historical relations to land and resource rights nor the intrinsic power dynamics of different actor groups. As such, dominant actors from the government and private sector succeeded in structuring the terrain of the FLEGT negotiations to determine which civil society demands for reforms to tenure and resource rights they would concede, and which they would not.
Keywords: Illegal logging, EU-FLEGT, Thailand, logic of equivalence, logic of difference, anti-politics
How to Cite:
Lewis, S. R. & Bulkan, J., (2022) “The political logics of EU-FLEGT in Thailand’s multistakeholder negotiations: Hegemony and resistance”, Journal of Political Ecology 29(1), 383–404. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.2398
- Graduate and Postdoctoral School at the University of British Columbia