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Unmaking the commons: Collective action, property rights and resource appropriation among (agro-) pastoralists in eastern Ethiopia


  • Beyene, Fekadu
  • Korf, Benedikt


"In Ethiopian development policies, pastoralist areas have recently attracted more attention. However, much debate and policy advice is still based on assumptions that see a sedentary lifestyle as the desirable development outcome for pastoralist communities. This paper investigates current practices of collective action and how these are affected by changing property rights in the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist economies of three selected sites in eastern Ethiopia. We describe forms of collective action in water and pasture resource management and analyze how changing property rights regimes affect incentives for collective action. We illustrate the distributional effects these practices are having on (agro-) pastoralist communities and how these practices are being influenced by the broader political and economic dynamisms of the area." authors' abstract

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  • Beyene, Fekadu & Korf, Benedikt, 2008. "Unmaking the commons: Collective action, property rights and resource appropriation among (agro-) pastoralists in eastern Ethiopia," CAPRi working papers 88, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Pender, John & Tesfay, Girmay, 2004. "Collective action for grazing land management in crop-livestock mixed systems in the highlands of northern Ethiopia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 273-290, December.
    2. Ayalneh Bogale & Benedikt Korf, 2007. "To share or not to share? (non-)violence, scarcity and resource access in Somali Region, Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 743-765.
    3. Benin, Samuel & Pender, John, 2006. "Collective action in community management of grazing lands: the case of the highlands of northern Ethiopia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 127-149, February.
    4. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
    5. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    6. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Determinants of collective action on the local commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 181-208, June.
    7. Runge, Carlisle Ford, 1986. "Common property and collective action in economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 623-635, May.
    8. Bardhan, Pranab, 2000. "Irrigation and Cooperation: An Empirical Analysis of 48 Irrigation Communities in South India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 847-865, July.
    9. Knox, Anna & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Hazell, P. B. R., 1998. "Property rights, collective action and technologies for natural resource management: a conceptual framework," CAPRi working papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Place, Frank & Kariuki, Gatarwa & Wangila, Justine & Kristjanson, Patricia & Makauki, Adolf & Ndubi, Jessica, 2004. "Assessing the factors underlying differences in achievements of farmer groups: methodological issues and empirical findings from the highlands of Central Kenya," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 257-272, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel & Lind, Jeremy & Hoddinott, John, 2013. "Implementing Social Protection in Agro-pastoralist and Pastoralist Areas: How Local Distribution Structures Moderate PSNP Outcomes in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Miteva, Pavlina, 2014. "The impact of the increasing demand for biofuels in the EU on the possibility to conduct collective action for reaching a common good: The changes in the community-based management of the common pastu," IPE Working Papers 37/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).

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    Pastoralism; Collective action; Property rights; Conflict; Water management; Rangelands management; Environmental management;

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