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Common Property Discourse and Forest Management in the Indian Himalayas: A Critical Assessment

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Agrawal, Arun
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4159
Sector: Theory
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): common pool resources--literature review
forest management--research
mountain regions--research
Abstract: "This paper, in looking at some of the major themes in the writings on the commons, seeks to assess critically some of the achievements of these writings. The second task the paper seeks to accomplish is to relate new directions in the research on common property with pressing themes in the use and management of resources, especially forests,in the Indian Himalayas. In developing this relationship, the paper advances the argument that some of the weaknesses of the literature on the commons are shared by those on resource management in the Indian Himalayas. But at the same time a number of empirical conditions obtain in the Indian Himalayas that would make the investigation of these themes in this region highly profitable from a theoretical stand point. The continuing outpouring of research from within the common property paradigm,as well as the vitality of research on mountain ecologies ensures that a review seeking to bring together these two bodies of literature can only be attempting to reach a moving target. Yet, the very enormity of the literature on the subject indicates that it is, perhaps, time to take stock. Some recent criticisms of the common property discourse make such a critical review even more germane."

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