Heterogeneity and Equity: Some Contradictions and Compromises in Collective Action

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"Several analytical models that have been formulated for examining the CPR management regimes provide an important stress on community structure and its implications in the form of homogeneity and heterogeneity and the efficiency and equity outcomes. Most common property scholars have argued that for the success and sustenance of collective action, the benefits derived from the collectively managed resources should flow equitably to all the members of a group. The process of globalisation has also led to greater emphasis on equity principles in the public policy. It is easier to ensure equity concerns in homogeneous groups because of similarity in resource dependence. Nevertheless, it becomes difficult to enforce equity when the group is heterogeneous with members having different economic interests and use perceptions about the resource. There are diverse sources of heterogeneity that include caste, ethnicity, social grouping, economic status, enterprises, political influence, habitation pattern, physical location etc. It becomes difficult for the factions and group members having heterogeneous objectives to come to common agreement. Even then many heterogeneous groups have sustained collective action although without eliminating inequalities. Based on the analysis of case studies from six village institutions, from Rajasthan in India, involved in the collective management of forest resources, this study is aimed at understanding such factors that contribute to the success of collective action under the circumstances of heterogeneity where there is a greater likelihood of inequalities within the groups."



IASC, common pool resources, equity, collective action, forestry--case studies, forest management, heterogeneity, inequality