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Common Pool Resources: The Search for Rationality through Values - Empirical Evidence for the Theory of Collective Action in Northern Italy

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Marelli, Beatrice
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1344
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): institutions
value
water management
irrigation
rural affairs
Abstract: "This paper examines the relationship between values and institutions for water management in small rural irrigation systems. This topic has been approached by investigating two farm communities in Northern Italy and comparing how values shape institutional performances in terms of accomplished resource sustainability. First, the paper gives an overview of the literature on the topic, and then introduces the bio-physical features that frame the institutional path of the communities. It analyzes the processes through which the internal attributes of trust, reputation and reciprocity act within shared values in the two groups, developing different institutional performances in terms of the rules in use applied in the irrigation process by each community. Data have been collected from in depth interviews and semantic differentials from relevant community members, including farmers and extended family members who might help with farm-work. The paper concludes that among individual attributes and values, trust is required for overcoming selfishness in appropriators groups to achieve long- term institutional construction. In addition, in order to accomplish satisfactory and sustainable water management, a common vision of the resource based on consciousness raising about common interventions for preserving irrigation capability, is highly desirable."

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