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Intersubjective meaning and collective action in'fragile'societies : theory, evidence and policy implications

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  • Gauri, Varun
  • Woolcock, Michael
  • Desai, Deval

Abstract

The capacity to act collectively is not just a matter of groups sharing interests, incentives and values (or being sufficiently small), as standard economic theory predicts, but a prior and shared understanding of the constituent elements of problem(s) and possible solutions. From this standpoint, the failure to act collectively can stem at least in part from relevant groups failing to ascribe a common intersubjective meaning to situations, processes and events. Though this is a general phenomenon, it is particularly salient in countries characterized by societal fragility and endemic conflict. We develop a conceptual account of intersubjective meanings, explain its relevance to development practice and research, and examine its implications for development work related to building the rule of law and managing common pool resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Gauri, Varun & Woolcock, Michael & Desai, Deval, 2011. "Intersubjective meaning and collective action in'fragile'societies : theory, evidence and policy implications," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5707, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5707
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    Cited by:

    1. Garofalo, Maria Rosaria, 2011. "Il volontariato può sostenere lo sviluppo? Riflessioni metodologiche per la costruzione di un frame work teorico
      [Can the voluntary sector sustain the development path of an economy? Suggestions fo
      ," MPRA Paper 40008, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Corporate Law; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Cultural Policy; Labor Policies; Population Policies;

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