Harbour resource management in Cowes, Isle of Wight: an analytical framework for multiple use decision-making

N. Steins, V. Edwards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The paper examines, on the basis of a field study, the process of organized participatory resource management. Drawing insights from the community forestry practices in India being carried out under the country's Joint Forest Management efforts, the paper explores how different local organizations affect participatory management of common-pool resources (CPRs). Founded in the ideas of ‘interdependency’ and ‘new institutionalism’, the analysis is on the lines of Elinor Ostrom's ‘design principles’ and the ‘institutional analysis and development framework’ developed by her and colleagues at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, to study renewable natural resource problems, particularly in developing countries. Attributing individual choice within collective-action strategies for CPR management to the incentives they face, the framework suggests that the participatory strategies are conditioned by three factors – the attributes of the goods (resource), the attributes of the user-group, and the attributes of the institutional arrangements. The analysis in this paper is, however, confined to the third attribute. Based on the user's perspective, a comparative analysis of three broad categories of local organizations operating in three villages is made, namely a non-governmental people's organization (NGPO), a government-engineered people's organization (GEPO), and an indigenous participatory strategy (traditional management regime). A review of the participatory resource management strategies in three study villages provided useful insights into organized participation and the role of different collective-choice arrangements in CPR management. The paper argues that, depending on the process rules are made and interests internalized, different organized participatory systems create restraints, provide opportunities and confer legitimacy differently. At the same time, the paper acknowledges that, the study being a once-off exercise with a limited sample, its purpose is not to make any generalization about local organizations in the process of participatory resource management. Rather, the objective is to provide broad organizational guidelines for development initiatives requiring community involvement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-81
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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