IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Exploring the Causal Mechanism of Collective Action for Susttainable Resource Management


  • Hanatani, Atsushi


Studies of commons management make it clear that collective action for resource management is a highly complex process in which the impact of different conditions often will vary according to physical and socio-economic contexts. This paper attempts to contribute to the understanding of this process by exploring the causal mechanism of collective action through an examination of the intervening variables that connect contextual and policy factors with resource management outcomes in an indirect way. Using four hypothetical causal variables – a) degree of resource dependence; b) predictability of benefit flows; c) possibility of sanctions application; and d) possibility of trust building – and relying on the institutionalist framework, a comparative institutional analysis is applied to the community-managed rural water supply systems of two Senegalese villages. The analysis demonstrates that collective action is possible even when some of the facilitating conditions normally associated with successful commons management – such as resource scarcity and small/homogeneous user groups – are missing. It thus confirms that intervening variables are important for understanding the broader process of institutional change for sustainable resource management, and consequently to the crafting of more suitable policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanatani, Atsushi, 2010. "Exploring the Causal Mechanism of Collective Action for Susttainable Resource Management," Working Papers 23, JICA Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:jic:wpaper:23

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun & Gibson, Clark C., 1999. "Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 629-649, April.
    2. Masako Fujiie & Yujiro Hayami & Masao Kikuchi, 2005. "The conditions of collective action for local commons management: the case of irrigation in the Philippines," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(2), pages 179-189, September.
    3. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & DiGregorio, Monica & McCarthy, Nancy, 2004. "Methods for studying collective action in rural development," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 197-214, December.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1095-1111_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jic:wpaper:23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Japan International Cooperation Agency Library). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.