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Publicness and Taken-for-granted Knowledge: A Case Study of Communal Land Formation in Rural Thailand


  • Shigetomi, Shinichi


The lack of public-mindedness can cause problems in the social order of people’s daily lives, such as the tragedy of the commons and the problem of free riders. Some scholars such as Habermas assert that communicative rationality is the solution, expecting that individuals will communicate with each other to reach a consensus without being bounded by aspects of social background. Other scholars advocate the revitalization of traditional community culture. These arguments, however, are not based on reality. By using the case of communal land formation in rural Thailand, the author shows that collective action is neither a revival of tradition nor a result of communication free from social constraints. Rather, cooperation emerges because the people rationally respond to their present needs and have built, through daily social interactions, taken-for-granted knowledge about how they should behave for cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Shigetomi, Shinichi, 2007. "Publicness and Taken-for-granted Knowledge: A Case Study of Communal Land Formation in Rural Thailand," IDE Discussion Papers 108, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper108

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    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
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    More about this item


    Local organization; Rural development; Thailand; Public sphere; Community forest; Communal land; Community; Forest; 地域組織; 農村開発; タイ; 公共空間; コミュニティ林; 共有地; 森林;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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