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Open Property Regimes

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Moritz, Mark
Journal: International Journal of the Commons
Volume: 10
Page(s): 688-708
Date: 2016
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10190
Sector: Grazing
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): adaptive systems
common pool resources
open access
Abstract: "In the literature on the commons, open access is considered the absence of a property regime and equated with a tragedy of the commons. However, a longitudinal study of mobile pastoralists in the Far North Region of Cameroon shows that open access is not the absence of rules and does not lead to a tragedy of the commons. Current theoretical models cannot explain this phenomenon of management of common-pool grazing resources in a situation of open access. Here I propose a new property regime – an open property regime – that solves this paradox. First, I will explain how open property regimes function as complex adaptive systems using our study of mobile pastoralists in Cameroon. Second, I will describe four other cases of pastoral systems with similar open property regimes. Finally, I discuss the key characteristics that these pastoral systems have in common and outline a new theoretical model of open property regimes."

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