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Constraints For Collective Action In Bulgaria'S Irrigation Sector

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  • Theesfeld, Insa

Abstract

Water for irrigation and irrigation infrastructure are both common pool resources, due to their low excludability and high rivalry. The wellknown common pool resource dilemma is often the consequence. Collective action may be a way how societies can overcome this dilemma. First results from a three-month empirical field study in Bulgaria are presented trying to explain how actor groups characteristics, such as lack of trust between community members and effective institutional settings at the local level, such as information asymmetry, limited sanctioning and enforcement mechanisms and almost no monitoring mechanisms provide conditions under which opportunistic behaviour dominates. The effective rules-in-use in local communities are presented. The simplest example is watering crops without paying the water price. Individuals will use their power to maintain their opportunistic strategies and, consequently, they will not agree to any rule change. Moreover, the actors` attitude towards collective action is very pessimistic. This has a crucial impact on the evolving of credible commitment which is one prerequisite for collective action. The effects on water management can be severe and the common pool resource dilemma situation may continue. This article questions if there are additional influencing variables inherited from the transformation process that will have an impact on the institutional change and constrain the emergence of collective action solutions. The discussion is based on empirical material from Varbiza village in the south of Bulgaria.

Suggested Citation

  • Theesfeld, Insa, 2001. "Constraints For Collective Action In Bulgaria'S Irrigation Sector," Discussion Papers 18891, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ceesdp:18891
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/18891
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert H. Bates & Steven A. Block & Ghada Fayad & Anke Hoeffler, 2013. "The New Institutionalism and Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 499-522, August.
    2. Daniel Bromley, 1992. "The commons, common property, and environmental policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Theesfeld, Insa & Boevksy, Ivan, 2003. "A Breach of Tradition During Socialism - The Case of Water Syndicates in Bulgaria," Discussion Papers 18899, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.
    3. Penov, Ivan, 2002. "The Use of Irrigation Water During Transition in Bulgaria's Plovdiv Region," Discussion Papers 18881, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.
    4. Theesfeld, I., 2004. "Insitutional Change in Bulgarias's Irrigation Sector in Transition - Power Resources of Local Actors," Proceedings "Schriften der Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaues e.V.", German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA), vol. 39.
    5. 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.
    6. Penov, Ivan & Theesfeld, Insa & Gatzweiler, Franz W., 2003. "Irrigation and Water Regulation Systems in Transition: The Case of Bulgaria in Comparison with Latvia, East Germany and Romania," CEESA\FAO Series 18900, CEESA: Central and Eastern European Sustainable Agriculture International Research Project.

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    Keywords

    Crop Production/Industries;

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