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The evolution of institutions in transition


  • F.W. Gatzweiler, K. Hagedorn


This paper aims at explaining the role and importance of the evolution of institutions for sustainable agri-environmental resources during the transition process by referring to examples of agri-environmental problem areas in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). It is often stated that the mere replacement of institutional structures in post socialist countries by EU institutions would be an opportunity to implement rapidly new policies and institutions. However, not all kinds of institutions, especially at local level, can simply be implemented and certainly not instantly. Instead, they evolve as a response to ecosystem and social system characteristics, and this is a rather slow process, especially as people's social networks and affiliations have dramatically changed since the socialist era. A central question, therefore, is whether the required institutional arrangements for achieving sustainability in the area of agri-environmental resource management can be built more easily in periods of transition as they fill institutional gaps, or whether processes of transition make institution building a far more difficult and time consuming task than previously thought. Above all, we want to find out how these two processes of institution building at different scales affect the sustainable management of resources such as water and biodiversity in agriculture? It will become clear that the nature of agri-environmental problems faced during transition is complex and dynamic and requires appropriate institutions both by political design and from the grassroots, to be developed by the respective actors involved. The process is supposed to lead from institutions in transition to institutions of sustainability. The transition from centrally planned to pluralistic systems has to be considered in some respect as a non-typical process of institutional change. Popular theories of institutional change do not necessarily apply.

Suggested Citation

  • F.W. Gatzweiler, K. Hagedorn, 2002. "The evolution of institutions in transition," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 37-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijarge:v:2:y:2002:i:1:p:37-58

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:4:p:1212-1216 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Zellei, Anett, 2001. "Challenges For Agri-Environmental Policies In Cee Countries," Discussion Papers 18882, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kluvánková, Tatiana & Gežík, Veronika, 2016. "Survival of commons? Institutions for robust forest social – ecological systems," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 175-185.
    2. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9838-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gatzweiler, Franz W. & Hagedorn, Konrad & Zellei, Anett & Lowe, Philip & Sumelius, John & Backman, Stefan & Tanic, Stjepan, 2003. "Synopsis of the Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture Project (CEESA)," CEESA\FAO Series 18901, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.
    4. Padmanabhan, Martina & Jungcurt, Stefan, 2012. "Biocomplexity—conceptual challenges for institutional analysis in biodiversity governance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 70-79.
    5. Rammel, Christian & Stagl, Sigrid & Wilfing, Harald, 2007. "Managing complex adaptive systems -- A co-evolutionary perspective on natural resource management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 9-21, June.
    6. Hagedorn, Konrad & Beckmann, Volker, 2010. "Institutionen der Nachhaltigkeit – Der Nobelpreis für Wirtschaft 2009 und seine Bedeutung für die Agrarökonomie," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 59(1).
    7. Thiel, Andreas, 2006. "Institutions of Sustainability and Multifunctional Landscapes: Lessons from the Case of the Algarve," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18844, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    8. Schleyer, Christian, 2002. "Economic and Ecological Transformation Processes in East German Water Management Regimes: The Role of Property Rights and Governance Structures," Discussion Papers 18890, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.
    9. Gatzweiler, Franz W., 2006. "Organizing a public ecosystem service economy for sustaining biodiversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 296-304, September.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1633-:d:111887 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Chobotova, Veronika & Kluvankova-Oravska, Tatiana, 2006. "Shifting Governance In Slovensky Raj National Park," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18834, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    12. Murray, Catherine, 2005. "Social Capital and Cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe: A Theoretical Perspective," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18831, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    13. Rama, Klodjan & Theesfeld, Insa, 0. "The Strengths and Weaknesses of Albania’s Customary Rules in Natural Resource Management in the Light of Devolution Policies," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 50.
    14. Thiel, Andreas & Schleyer, Christian & Plieninger, Tobias, 2011. "Characteristics of resources and the provision of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Germany: the cases of fruit tree meadows and wolf protection," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116082, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Dannenberg, Peter & Schleyer, Christian & Wustemann, Henry, 2005. "Regionale Vernetzungen in der Landwirtschaft Beitrage eines teilprojektubergreifenden regionalen Workshops am 13.01.2005 in Bad Liebenwerda (Landkreis Elbe-Elster)," Structural Change and Transition in the Agricultural Sector Working Papers 18817, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.


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