Social movements as key actors in governing the commons: Evidence from community-based resource management cases across the world

Sergio Villamayor-Tomas, Gustavo García-López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The international research on the benefits of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) regimes for sustainable development has raised concerns about the vulnerability of said regimes to globalization, shortsighted government regulations, marginalization, and other global political economy threats. This paper addresses the question of whether and how social movements contribute to the organization and robustness of CBNRM in the advent of those threats. To accomplish this, we carry out a qualitative meta-analysis of 81 cases worldwide. Our evidence shows that one of the most important effects of movements on CBNRM is the promotion and defense of community use and management rights against certain government decisions or actions by global corporations. We also find that movements can generate positive effects beyond the reaction to specific threats. Those effects include the democratization of communities’ collective choice processes, the reinvigoration of identity ties and local ecological knowledge, the promotion of economic development and autonomy, and the creation of nested user organizations. Exploring such potentially longer-term effects is a promising next step towards further connecting the social movement and CBNRM scholarships and better understanding the robustness of local management regimes in the context of global change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-126
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Community based natural resource management
  • Environmental justice movements
  • Institutional design principles
  • Meta-analysis
  • Political economy threats

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