This paper provides a resume of a D.Phil. research project. The overall aim of the project is to study and analyse the nature of conflicts in Canaima National Park, with emphasis on their history, structural causes and power relations. It seeks to find out which forms of participation are more likely to contribute to managing conflicts in national parks established in indigenous peopleÆs territories. The paper gives a brief background and rationale to the research project; presents the main points of argument and objectives; describes the project site and existing conflicts; and explains the research methodology which combines a community case study approach with traditional qualitative research methods. The paper discusses the spread of natural resource conflict management in Latin America; present trends and gaps in analysing conflicts in national parks; and the need to go beyond perception and stakeholder analysis in order to understand conflicts. The preliminary results of the study are presented regarding the nature of conflicts over implementation of park policy with focus on the use of fire by the Pemon people; tourism development; and the building of a power line to Brazil. The role of power in shaping different forms of participation is analysed focussing on the meaning of participation for the different factors. Based on the preliminary results, the paper proposes forms of participation that are likely to contribute to conflict management in Canaima National Park, focussing on the main conflicts (as mentioned above). An attachment gives further details of the field work process.
Counter hegemonic globalisation occurs today in many forms and many settings and deals with a variety of issues from land and labour rights to sexual equality to biodiversity and the environment. This paper examines one urban experiment developed to resist the social exclusion that is an undeniable result of the globalisation process by redistributing city resources in favour of the more vulnerable social groups by means of participatory democracy. The experiment was the participatory budget established in 1989 in the city of Porto Alegre.
The first part of the paper describes basic information and the recent history of the city and its government, contextualising both within the Brazilian political system. The second part details a description of the main features of the institutions and processes of the participatory budget and of participation as well as the criteria and methodology for the distribution of resources. The third part examines the development of the participatory budget. The final part analyses the processes of the participatory budget with regards to its efficiency in redistribution, its accountability and quality of representation in a participatory democracy, the notion of dual powers and competing legitimacies and its relationship with the legislative body that formally approves budget.
This paper discusses the potential for convergence between PRA (participatory rural appraisal) and PAR (participatory action research) concentrating on ways of bridging the gap between outsiders and local populations. Using examples from different countries in Latin America, the exploration touches on complex processes within and between individuals and societies.