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Villagers, Bureaucrats, and Forests in Nepal: Designing Governance for a Complex Resource

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Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Author: Varughese, George
Date: 1999
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3556
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): institutional analysis
community forestry
collective action
forest products
Abstract: "This study addresses the question of how institutions, together with various physical and socioeconomic attributes, affect the performance of forest resource systems in 18 locations in the middle hills of Nepal. Specifically, it investigates the impact of local institutions on forest resource management to gain a better understanding of how such institutions shape the actions of individuals at the community level. Drawing upon recent research in the analysis of cooperation, the study focuses upon the relationship between the institutional design of the governance of forest resources and (1) population change; (2) differences among users or heterogeneity; and (3) patterns of association seen as forms of social capital. "The findings from this study indicate that (1) change in forest conditions is not markedly associated with population growth but, rather, is strongly associated with local forms of collective action; (2) differences among users do pose challenges for groups of forest users in overcoming the incentives to free ride and shirk but not in a determinant fashion; and (3) levels of deliberate, long-term interaction do have a systematic relationship with levels of collective activity."

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