The emergence of outcomes of collective action: An institutional and ecosystem approach

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Taylor & Francis


Participation in collective action is frequently studied through a community-based analysis, with focus on the social features of the participants and on the ecological features of the managed system. This study addresses the importance of scaling down to household level to understand different individual incentives to collaborate (or not) as well as scaling up to the landscape level to evaluate the ecological outcome of the local forms of collective action. We report on a study of a riparian community of 33 households in the Lower Amazon located between two distinct ecosystems - a privately owned upland forest and a communally owned floodplain. Household-based analysis uncovers how heterogeneity within the community leads to different incentives for participation in the communal floodplain, while systemic analysis reveals that interconnection between the managed ecosystem and adjacent ecosystem influences the decisions to participate as well as the ecological outcomes of the collective actions.


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Ecosystem, Social capital, Common property resources, Community participation, Natural resource management, Local governance, Collective action, Floodplain, Forests, Heterogeneity, Lower amazon, Property rights, Uplands, Incentives, Ecosystem Farm/Enterprise Scale


Society and Natural Resources 15(6): 503-522