'Around the world, people are struggling to find ways to get local governments and communities more involved in managing their own forests, while still protecting national and global interest. It is not easy. Some of the sharpest thinkers, movers and shakers concerned with this issue share their own experiences and understanding in this volume, which is right there on the cutting edge. Not to be missed!' David Kaimowitz, Director General, CIFOR 'Addresses a burning global issue in forest management - how can we devolve appropriate levels of authority over forests more equitably and effectively? Based on the rich experience and insightful analysis of researchers and policy makers, this timely volume, written in accessible language, combines theory and practice [and] is required reading for policy makers and students alike' Jagmohan S. Maini, OC '[Written by]...a distinguished group of scholars studying decentralization in all parts of the world. Readers will appreciate finding such definitive studies all within one cover. An important book on an important subject' Elinor Ostrom, Co-Director, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University Decentralization is sweeping the world and having dramatic and far-reaching impacts on resource management and livelihoods, particularly in forestry. This book is the most up-to-date examination of the themes, experiences and lessons learned from decentralization worldwide. Drawing on research and support from all of the major international forestry and conservation organizations, the book provides a balanced account that covers the impact of decentralization on resource management worldwide, and provides comparative global insights with wide implications for policy, management, conservation and resource use and planning. Topics covered include forest governance in federal systems, democratic decentralization of forests and natural resources, paths and pitfalls in decentralization and biodiversity conservation in decentralized forests. The book provides in-depth case studies of decentralization from Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland, Uganda and the US, as well as highlights from federal countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and Malaysia. It also addresses the critical links between the state, forests, communities and power relations in a range of regions and circumstances, and provides case examples of how decentralization has been viewed and experienced by communities in Guatemala, Philippines and Zimbabwe. The Politics of Decentralization is state-of-the-art coverage of decentralization and is essential for practitioners, academics and policy-makers across forestry and the full spectrum of natural resource management.