Community Privatisation of Resources and the 'Tragedy of Exclusion': Problems and Alternatives


"...These case studies reveal biases in local management and in particular they reveal how some actors seize the opportunity to try to deny certain users access to the resource. We examine the ins-and-outs and the causes of this 'tragedy of exclusion', which has serious repercussions and is the source of numerous conflicts. A new approach is required to address the situation and to seek out not just a way to transfer responsibilities from the state to local users of resources but also a form of genuine joint management involving different actors in the collective elaboration of rules of management. This presupposes that a very wide array of actors can be united in a single approach. Now, most of the case studies show that exclusion stems not just from some users abusing the prerogatives that local control confers on them but above all from the implementation of the procedure whereby users are given responsibility. This observation leads us to denounce the fact that reflection and discussion about the management of common resources has given inadequate scope to the question of how to set about it. The case studies reveal the need to mobilise specific means and know-how in support of these processes of collective construction. After reviewing the various alternatives for managing shared resources and having glimpsed their limits in the case studies, we turn to the question of what concerted management of resources presupposes in terms of an approach and of means."



IASC, common pool resources, community participation--case studies, tragedy of the commons