Institutional Failure in Resource Management

Author(s): Acheson, James M

About this Entry
Abstract Many of the world's natural resources are in a state of crisis. The solution to this crisis is to develop effective management institutions, but there is no consensus on what those institutions are. Some economists favor solving resource-management problems through the institution of private property; others advocate central government control; and many anthropologists see local-level management as the solution. In this review, I argue that all these governance structures fail under certain conditions. However, the factors contributing to failure in each of these institutional forms differ radically, and the causes of that failure are not always predicted on the basis of existing theory. This chapter contains a review of the literature on the factors identified as causing the failure of private-property regimes, government-controlled resources, and local-level management. We will have to learn to match the resource problems with governance institutions and specific management techniques if we are to manage resources effectively. We also will have to understand the complex biosocial factors influencing sustainability.
Publication Title Annual Review of Anthropology
Publisher Annual Reviews
Publication Date 01/2006
URIs http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064917
http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcAuth=SerialsSolutions&SrcApp=Summon&KeyUT=000242032900007&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=WOS
http://search.proquest.com/docview/199820218
Keywords ANTHROPOLOGY
Anthropology
COMMON PROPERTY
Collective action
Conservation
Conservation of natural resources
Conservation rules
Devising institutions
ECONOMICS
Effectiveness
Governance
Government
Government agencies
ISLANDS
Institutions
Laws, regulations and rules
Management of crises
Methods
Natural Resources
Natural resources
Private property
Rational choice
Resource Management
Resource management
Reviews
Sustainability
Sustainable development
United States
anthropology
article
collective action
conservation rules
conservation rules, collective action, natural resources, devising institutions, rational choice
devising institutions
natural resources
rational choice
sustainability
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