Making the Commons Work: Theory, Practice, and Policy

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Daniel W. Bromley, David Feeny
ICS Press, 1992 - Business & Economics - 339 pages
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It is widely assumed that natural resources owned in common will inevitably be exhausted unless they are either brought under state control or privatized. But is this assumption valid? Are state and private management really the only options? This book builds a strong case for the ability of communities to use common-pool resources effectively and sustainably - thus Making the Commons Work. In fishing grounds off Turkey and forests in south India, potato fields in the Andes and mountain pastures in Morocco, we find examples of communities that have avoided the "tragedy of the commons", without state intervention or privatization. Making the Commons Work brings together the research of internationally known scholars in economics, political science, anthropology, ethnography, environmental studies, and related fields who examine how and when common-property resources can be successfully managed on the user level. First, the concepts underlying the collective management of common property are introduced. Next, case studies from around the world demonstrate how collective systems function under diverse conditions with reasonable success. Finally, implications for further research and for effective policy formulation are explored. Policy making affecting the use of natural resources in the developing world has been hampered by the failure to understand the essence of resource management systems. Making the Commons Work provides a coherent conceptual model that allows for meaningful analysis of field studies and better extension of theory into workable policies. In documenting the range of experiences with collective management of natural resources, the contributors illustrate the pressuresand tendencies for successful as well as destructive use. Whether interested in development, common property, or natural resources, readers will learn much from this book. Finding solutions to the issues it addresses is vitally important to both the developed and developing worlds.

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Contents

Common Property and Collective Action in Economic
17
A Framework
41
Case Studies of CommonProperty Regimes
61
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Daniel W. Bromley is Anderson-Bascom Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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