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Exploring the Causal Mechanism of Collective Action for Susttainable Resource Management

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  • Hanatani, Atsushi

Abstract

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
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    File URL: https://jicari.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=repository_uri&item_id=629&file_id=9&file_no=1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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
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