Facilitated self-governance of the commons

On the roles of civil society organizations in the governance of shared resource systems 1

Authored by: Frank van Laerhoven , Clare Barnes

Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138060906
eBook ISBN: 9781315162782
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315162782-27

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Abstract

We observe that the common pool resource (CPR), or commons, 2 literature in general seems to focus on a particular form of governance – i.e. pure self-governance – that in reality seldom exists. There is a tension between theorizing in the CPR literature, which often implicitly assumes communities make decisions about their resources in isolation from other actors, and the presence of outsiders, or external actors, who present themselves to communities with the aim of supporting their self-governance efforts. In this chapter we frame this tension as a shortcoming in the CPR literature, which leaves unanswered important questions regarding the presence of outsiders, such as “How can outsiders, and civil society organizations (CSOs) in particular, support local communities in developing forms of self-governance that lead to sustainable outcomes for both resource systems and local livelihoods?” or “Can self-governance be facilitated, and if so, how?”

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