2001 volume 33(4) pages 607 – 628
doi:10.1068/a3395

Cite as:
Staddon C, 2001, "Restructuring the Bulgarian wood-processing sector: linkages between resource exploitation, capital accumulation, and redevelopment in a postcommunist locality" Environment and Planning A 33(4) 607 – 628

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Restructuring the Bulgarian wood-processing sector: linkages between resource exploitation, capital accumulation, and redevelopment in a postcommunist locality

Caedmon Staddon

Received 19 June 2000; in revised form 16 December 2000

Abstract. Based on recent primary research, in this paper I explore the emerging contours of the postcommunist forest-products sector in Bulgaria and, in particular, the ramifications for community-level restructuring in a small, mountainous region located in the southwestern part of the country. After ten years of postcommunist transformation, the current government has only very recently initiated the task of wholesale reform of communist-era structures extant within the forestry and forest-products sectors. This is an unavoidably complex process, involving reorganising tenure over forest resources (with some measure of restitution of formerly private forest resources to precommunist era owners), privatising and decentralising logging and related activities in the woods, redefining the role of the state in oversight, management, and planning, and the development of a supportive institutional context for the growth of, in particular, small and medium-sized private enterprises throughout the forest-products chain. Restructuring of the wood-products sector in one Bulgarian mountain locality is the primary focus of the paper, with a five-fold descriptive typology of wood-processing enterprises proposed. Based in part on manifest differentiations in corporate governance and institutional network orientation (including markets), this typology assists with the analysis of challenges to sustainable local restructuring in resource dependent communities. These models are discussed in turn in terms of both the theoretical implications for Bulgaria's 'transition model of development' and the empirical ramifications for regional development and well-being.

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