Digital Library Of The Commons Repository


Recent Submissions

Conference Paper
Global Evidence that Bottom-Up but Not Co-management Improves Compliance with Commons Governance Compared to Top-Down Regulations
(2024) Quintana, Anastasia; Gaines, Steven; Ristig, Erin; Neilson, Larissa; Glave, Dylan
"Noncompliance threatens the sustainability of the commons. Arguments for bottom-up commons governance is often premised on assumptions that commons users comply more when they craft the rules that govern them. However, there is limited evidence linking governance and compliance, especially at large scale, because the gold standard for measuring compliance as a binary (comply/not comply) maps poorly onto the complexity of overlapping formal and informal rules that characterize commons governance. In this paper, we advance an emerging methodological tool to diagnose compliance types using a two-dimensional model with both quantitative and qualitative applications. We then use this tool to examine whether self-governance increases regulatory compliance with marine protected areas, a widespread tool for fisheries management, through the analysis of a survey of fisher attitudes collected by the nonprofit organization, Rare, in seven countries with total n>5000. Using a cluster analysis, we found four compliance ideal-types: committed, supportive, ambivalent, and resistant. Top-down governance was associated with more resistant fishers while bottom-up governance was associated with more committed fishers. Contrary to our expectations, co-management was indistinguishable from top-down governance. Based on the ratios of different compliance types, we suggest several policy levers that could improve governance. This study suggests that more attention should be given to how resources users perceive rules rather than just the behavior of compliance."
Conference Paper
Predicting Fishery Sustainability with Integrated Socio-Ecological Models
(2024) Hultin, Emma; Brooks, George; Kindsvater, Holly; Castello, Leandro
Western fisheries management has historically assumed that harvest is accurately known from fishing reports; however, illegal and unreported fishing can be a potentially important source of fish mortality. Illegal fishing arises from complex social and economic factors, such that fisheries sustainability cannot be fully understood without the integration of social information into ecologically based models of population dynamics. We aim to 1) produce a new framework for conducting integrated socio-ecological fisheries research and 2) quantify both the ecological and socio-cultural factors most influential in the success of arapaima management. Here we present a novel modeling technique that can incorporate social data alongside ecological data to account for latent, unreported harvest. We first use simulated data to evaluate the performance of the model and highlight the biases that emerge when illegal fishing is not accounted for. We then apply this model to the arapaima spp. fishery in the Brazilian Amazon. Based on themes from Ostrom’s social-ecological systems framework, we collected social data from both the fishing communities that harvest arapaima and the institutional structures that govern arapaima management. Our ecological information is derived from field observations, remotely sensed data, and fishing reports. We hope that understanding the full suite of social and ecological drivers of arapaima fishing will allow us to predict the success or failure of fisheries management strategies as we work toward sustainable harvest.
Conference Paper
Vaccines for Legitimacy: Building State Legitimacy through Service Provision and Polycentric Governance Learning Mechanisms
(2023) Koehnlein, Britt
Fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS) often struggle with building their capacity, ending conflict, and creating peaceful options for the future. But strengthening state capacity is limited by the amount and type of resources a state has, the reach and resilience of different infrastructures (e.g., roads, supply lines), limitations on consolidation efforts, and a lack of control over the use of violence. The provision of services, particularly education, clean water, and electricity, has been linked to efforts of states to increase their capacity, but these provisions rarely follow a linear path nor are they always effective. Times of crisis, such as during epidemics, can exacerbate the challenges that link service provision to building legitimacy for states, particularly for societies facing ongoing conflict, but the provision of – certain – services can have a positive effect on state legitimacy. I argue that under certain conditions – through leveraging polycentric governance structures and learning – vaccination campaigns act as a specific type of service provision that allows the state to build legitimacy. This legitimacy-building will then lay the foundation for the state to start increasing both their material capacity and their ability to end conflict. I trace successive outbreaks of Ebola in Équateur Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and show that by partnering effectively with international organizations, local leaders, and former rebel leaders, the state was able to learn from previous failed outcomes and increase its legitimacy and convince citizens to get vaccinated and adopt different funeral practices to prevent Ebola from spreading as far or as quickly as in the past. This feedback learning mechanism increased state legitimacy in Équateur Province in a relatively short time frame and has persisted.
Conference Paper
Sharing Power - Insights from Archetypal Games
(2024) Bruns, Bryan
"Vincent and Elinor Ostrom both wrestled with the problems posed by institutions that give rulers power over others, the authority to coerce, and the dangers of the 'Faustian bargain' underlying asymmetric power in governance. This paper applies simple game theory models of archetypal (social/strategic/action) situations of interdependence to examine diversity in power and in the institutions that may empower and constrain rulers and other social actors, including reciprocal power over, coordinated power with, capabilities for freedom, benevolent authority, unilateral taking, zero-sum contestation, and threats of resistance. The diversity of power in archetypal games offers insights for crafting and caring for institutions that share power. Highlights • Making ties simplifies payoff matrices to derive archetypal games. Archetypal games show diversity in models of how power may be distributed, including joint power-with in coordination; independent power-to; reciprocal (exchange) power-over; unilateral power-over to help, benefit, or deprive; and contested-power in cyclic conflict. • Archetypal game models offer examples for thinking about the options and limitations for sharing power, including enhancing co-creation in power-with, strengthening capabilities for autonomous power-to, and restraining power-over, such as through norms, morality, care, wisdom, and distributed checks-and-balances. • Breaking ties in archetypal games generates lineages of games with more complexity and more collective action problems for achieving equity, efficiency, and stability. Coordination of power-with confronts rivalry and distrust, mutual power-over becomes vulnerable to temptation and distrust, and the disadvantages of asymmetric power-to may lead to negotiation and transformation."
Conference Paper
Dynamic Archetype Analysis in Sustainability Science
(2024) Orozco, Richard; Ekström, Hanna; Pacheco-Romero, Manuel; Alexandridis, Nikos; Williamson, Matt; Levers, Christian; Eisenack, Klaus
"Archetype analysis has been used to study changes in a wide range of social-ecological systems. However, it is still an open question how to aptly address the dynamic aspects of archetypes, considering changes of archetypes over time and their underlying drivers. By capturing change and dynamics in archetypes, we would be better equipped to theorize about causality in sustainability transitions. Here, we conceptualize and classify different approaches to develop archetype analysis from a time-dynamic perspective. We drew on previous research that has incorporated temporal dynamics when studying archetypes, and also theorized on new potential approaches that could be developed. We conducted a proof-of-concept analyses using cluster analysis, causal loop diagrams and dynamic time warping to test their ability to analyze dynamic archetypes. Therefore, we used data from the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) database and their three main drivers of social-ecological system change: population, urbanization, and gross domestic product. Our results showcase promising quantitative methods for generating dynamic archetypes, and empirical insights gained from the different approaches. In identifying mechanisms of change for SSPs in UK, we illustrate how triggers and mechanisms interact to produce varying degrees of likelihood of transition between different SSPs. Looking globally at clusters of countries following similar SSP pathways, we see that countries that differ in historical pathways share projected future patterns of change. Lastly, we propose how to expand the eight core principles of archetype analysis to also cover temporal dynamics. This is a milestone to better understand system changes over time and to develop resilience and adaptation mechanisms to an ever-changing world."