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A social relational approach to community-based ecotourism development: Policy intervention strategies

Resource type
Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
Author: Rith, Sam Ol
This study examines how policy intervention strategies facilitate or constrain the construction of positive social capital in a community-based ecotourism (CBET) context. It investigates CBET development policies in a specific Cambodian case study, explores implementation processes, assesses the level of social capital created, identifies the connections between social capital construction and development outcomes, and suggests how the policies contribute to social capital construction. The dissertation’s case study research is conducted in Chambok, Cambodia’s longest operating CBET development. The social capital concept used in the dissertation assumes that CBET communities are comprised of dynamic active agents who play vital roles in determining their own destiny, provided they are provided with appropriate capabilities. Social capital is positioned as a conduit through which communities access the necessary resources needed to build the capabilities required to participate in CBET collaborations. The appropriate construction of social capital can trigger sustained CBET outcomes. In this dissertation, social capital is viewed as playing four major roles. It diffuses information; transfers knowledge; promotes collaboration and collective action; and harnesses power in the local communities. A multiple-method triangulated approach is used to examine CBET policies and development in Cambodia from the perspective of involved stakeholders. The information and model resulting from this research are designed to inform CBET collaborators, stakeholders and decision-makers about the significance of constructing positive social capital for the community; and the factors that affect its development. Overall, the research offers: 1) an insight into the effects of social interactions on CBET development; and 2) an approach to building appropriate CBET social capital. This research contributes to the theoretical and applied dimensions of existing knowledge concerning the role of CBET policies in a developing region context, and their effects on the building of community capabilities.
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The author granted permission for the file to be printed, but not for the text to be copied and pasted.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Williams, Peter W.
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etd6294_SRith.pdf 3.66 MB

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