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Identity and environmental governance: Institutional change in contemporary British forestry policy and practice

Schiellerup, Pernille; (2005) Identity and environmental governance: Institutional change in contemporary British forestry policy and practice. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research is about institutional change in contemporary British public sector forestry with particular reference to issues of institutional and individual identity, drawing on the internal perspectives of staff working for the Forestry Commission (FC). Methodologically, the research was based on a grounded theory approach to the research process and data analysis using a combination of multi-site participant-observation of the FC across GB and long semi-structured interviews. Theoretically, the research seeks to balance between structure/agency, group/individual, and performance/meaning, drawing on a symbolic interactionist perspective on identity, structuration theory and discourse theory to construct a conceptual framework expressing the relationship between institutional and individual change processes. The research reveals the 'storyline' of social forestry as a symptom that the identity of the FC had become problematised, resulting in a debate about the future of forestry among a group of people for whom the FC and its work were both important and meaningful. The perception that the relationship between the FC and its setting of action had become destabilised led actors to initiate different kinds of work on the institutional self of the FC, and on the selves of important 'others' in the institution's setting of action, perceived to be able to confer legitimacy. A 'reconstituted' narrative of self is developed on the basis of internal oral narratives of important events in the history of the FC, identifying the institutional self- identity which had become problematised and the identity structures with which the FC was now 'confronting' its present. Finally, the research shows how the structures of the FC's self were brought into play, challenged and transformed in negotiation with a very mobile setting of action in the early 2000s, explaining what challenges and opportunities the FC was responding to, and the consequences for the identities of the institution and of its staff.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Identity and environmental governance: Institutional change in contemporary British forestry policy and practice
Identifier: PQ ETD:602707
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Geography
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446775
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