Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Department of Political Science

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

Connect with the College

William Schultz

Office: Bellamy 557B
Email Address:

CV:William Schultz CV

Degree Program:


Areas of Interest:

Resource Politics, Conservation, and Development Politics.

Research Activites:

My dissertation seeks to help explain the inconsistent benefits of local participation in sustainable development efforts. Previous research illustrates that while there appears to be a roughly positive relationship between participation and various project outcomes, the magnitude of this effect varies significantly. Moreover, there are also many examples in the case record where local participation appears to have caused more implementation problems than it solved. Paper one considers that this inconsistency may partly result from a failure to accurately measure the relative degree of participation in different interventions, and explores whether the most participatory efforts in a sample of conservation efforts in Brazil are more effective than other less participatory efforts. Paper two uses an expanded sample of conservation efforts to explore whether participation is less effective in conservation efforts that are following previously failed efforts in the past two decades. If this is the case, it suggests that participation is less effective in cases where building local perceptions of legitimacy is more difficult. Paper three uses a game theoretic model to explore the strategic dynamics of a project developer’s choice to employ a costly grassroots engagement strategy versus relying on local elites to handle grassroots engagement (given the risks of adverse selection and moral hazard). This is a strategic dilemma that developers in the field face regularly, yet our scholarly understanding of it remains limited.