Peer Reviewed Works
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R. 2017. “Contesting Justice in Global Forest Governance: the Promises and Pitfalls of REDD+.” Conservation and Society 15(2): 189-200.
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R. 2016. "Transforming Justice in REDD+ through a Politics of Difference Approach.” Forests 7(300): 1-14.
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R. 2015. "Displacing Difference and the Barriers to Environmental Justice." Politics, Groups, and Identities 3(4): 697-702.
Witter, Rebecca, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Rebecca Gruby, Maggie Bourque, Sarah Hitchner, Edward Maclin, and J. Peter Brosius. 2015. "Moments of Influence in Global Environmental Governance." Environmental Politics 24(6): 894-912.
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R. 2014. "Negotiating the Nagoya Protocol: Indigenous Demands for Justice." Global Environmental Politics 14(3): 102-124.
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R. and Susan Caplow. 2013. "In Pursuit of Procedural Justice: Lessons from an Analysis of 56 Forest Carbon Project Designs." Global Environmental Change 23(5): 968-979.
O'Neill, Kate, Erika Weinthal, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Steven Bernstein, Avery S. Cohn, Michael W. Stone, and Benjamin Cashore. "Methods and Global Environmental Governance." Annual Review of Environment and Resources 38(1): 441-471.
The Justice Gap in Global Forest Governance
If we assume that justice for forest peoples leads to greater involvement in decision-making processes and increased benefits-sharing, then from the perspective of the state, justice for forest peoples in forest governance interventions could undermine state power by empowering historically marginalized groups. Yet, we see significant investments by state and non-state actors dedicated to improving the justice outcomes of conservation initiatives in both democratic and authoritarian states. This empirical reality suggests that justice for forest peoples may be in the interest of global forest governance actors (states, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and firms), prompting a number of questions: why do global forest governance actors pursue justice? Whose conceptualizations of justice do they pursue, for whom, at what scale, through what means, to what ends, and to what effect? Importantly, despite efforts to promote more just conservation, particularly through global initiatives, claims of injustice persist and are increasing in visibility and scope. My research examines this apparent gap between global policy and national implementation and finds that the persistence of justice claims are not simply the result of poor forest governance, a lack of political will among policy-makers to uphold their commitments, or continuous ratcheting up of justice demands from forest peoples. Instead the justice gap emerges from a cognitive disconnect between how justice is institutionalized in global forest governance and the justice aspirations of forest communities.Drawing on an expanded social theory of institutions and institutional change, Fixing the Justice Gap provides an in-depth exploration of the multivalent nature of justice and explains how norms serve to constrain the opportunities for justice for forest peoples. This research asks: what are the barriers to delivering justice to forest-dependent communities? I approach this question through a multi-sited, multi-method investigation that draws from nearly two years of fieldwork in Laos and Southeast Asia, as well as ethnographic field work at the 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 2014 World Parks Congress, and the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The analysis blends an extended case study of Laos with the innovative methodology collaborative event ethnography to trace how ideas, norms, and principles of justice emerge, diffuse, and evolve across multiple scales of governance, from global policy arenas to forest community households. The findings reveal that particular conceptualizations of justice have become a central part of the metanormative fabric of global environmental governance, constraining institutional evolution and therewith perpetuating the justice gap in global forest governance.
Professional Reports and Case Studies
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R., Laura Zanotti, Kate Haapala, Sarah Huang, Savannah Schulze, Elizabeth Wulbrecht, and Kate Yeater. “Presence to Influence: Examining the Politics of Representation in Global Environmental Governance.” 2017. Anthropology and Environment Society Engagement Blog https://aesengagement.wordpress.com/
Marion Suiseeya, Kimberly R. 2017. Review of Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, Mexico, and Mexico, by Prakash Kashwan, Global Environmental Politics 17(4).