Trust and hidden conflict in participatory natural resources management: The case of the Pendjari national park (PNP) in Benin
Idrissou Aboubacary, L. ; Paassen, A. van; Aarts, N. ; Vodouhè, S. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2013
Forest Policy and Economics 27 (2013). - ISSN 1389-9341 - p. 65 - 74.
critical discourse analysis - organizational trust - integrative model - distrust - realities - future
This paper investigated how and why the issue of trust building between the park direction and the local communities gave way to a hidden conflict in the participatory management of the Pendjari national park (PNP) in Benin, and how it was managed. The findings revealed that calculus-based trust was built at the beginning of the process and enabled an improved relationship and collaboration between the park direction and local communities, and a subsequent raise of wildlife in the park. However, dysfunctional use of the trust built led to the emergence of distrust, which evolved into conflict. This conflict was hidden by the illusion of peaceful relationships between the stakeholders as pursued in common meetings. It was noticeable only through accusations on each other, including the shift of responsibility for solving the conflict when discussing the management separately with the different stakeholders. We conclude that (dis)trust should not be looked as a static/cognitive state, but as a dynamic frame that may be strategically used in interaction.