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From Open Access to a Regime of Mixed Common- and Private Property: Indigenous Appropriation and Regulation of the Fodder Tree Euphorbia stenoclada in Southwest Madagascar

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Goetter, Johanna; Neudert, Regina
Conference: Commons Amidst Complexity and Change, the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Conf. Date: May 25-29
Date: 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/9833
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): common pool resources
community
institutional change
management
privatization
property rights
Abstract: "This paper examines the processes of indigenous privatization and concurrent regulation of the important fodder tree samata (Euphorbia stenoclada) among the Tanalana people of southwest Madagascar from a long-term perspective. Using case study material from 20 villages in the coastal region of the Mahafaly Plateau, a framework for institutional change is applied to explore the drivers and relevant factors shaping the processes of appropriation and regulation. While private property rights on the resource have become widely socially accepted, the creation of institutions regulating the appropriation is hampered by strong bargaining power on the side of the appropriators paired with a lack of power and collective action by local communities and the locals’ ideology on the legitimation of resource appropriation which is shaped by an historical background of few institutional restrictions. Stressing the interplay of ideology and bargaining power in the context-specific constellation of actors, this paper contributes to the understanding of property rights transformation and institutional change in self-organized, traditional societies."

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