On averting the tragedy of the commons

Environmental Management (Impact Factor: 1.72). 05/1988; 12(3). DOI: 10.1007/BF01867519
Source: OAI


One of the enduring facts of the human condition is that the earth's resources are finite and its environment fragile. It is also evident that human behavior is rarely based on an appreciation of these facts. While the outlook may be bleak, so are some of the proposed solutions. Reasonable people have suggested that, to survive, an environmentally enlightened authoritarian government must be adopted. This article suggests that such a solution is unworkable, in part because it fails to consider critical aspects of human nature. A framework is proposed for developing solutions compatible with human capabilities. Peer Reviewed

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    • "With this change in focus has come increased interest in incorporating economic and social analyses into fisheries policy development, and, more recently, an increased interest in the dimensions of healthy biological populations impacted by fishing; the economic health of fishers and their associated industries; and management performance and equity [1]. Good governance requires stakeholder empowerment not only in terms of providing their input to the operational management process, but also through the ability to influence core policy development [8]. Traditionally, moving to a new management system often involved evaluation using quantitative models such as Management Strategy Evaluation [12] [10] [21] or other quantitative approaches when the former is lacking. "
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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Multi-species fisheries are complex to manage and the ability to develop an appropriate governance structure is often seriously impeded because trading between sustainability objectives at the species level, economic objectives at the fleet level, and social objectives at the community scale, is complex. Many of these fisheries also tend to have a mix of information, with stock assessments available for some species and almost no information on other species. The fleets themselves comprise fishers from small family enterprises to large vertically integrated businesses. The Queensland trawl fishery in Australia is used as a case study for this kind of fishery. It has the added complexity that a large part of the fishery is within a World Heritage Area, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is managed by an agency of the Australian Commonwealth Government whereas the fishery itself is managed by the Queensland State Government. A stakeholder elicitation process was used to develop social, govern-ance, economic and ecological objectives, and then weight the relative importance of these. An expert group was used to develop different governance strawmen (or management strategies) and these were assessed by a group of industry stakeholders and experts using multi-criteria decision analysis techniques against the different objectives. One strawman clearly provided the best overall set of outcomes given the multiple objectives, but was not optimal in terms of every objective, demonstrating that even the ''best'' strawman may be less than perfect.
    Marine Policy 01/2013; 37(1):123-131. DOI:10.1016/j.marpol.2012.02.018 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    • "In most circumstances, however, there is need of some external force of a regulatory apparatus to solve the collective action problems. However, this approach seems to be less valuable to understand the mobilization of transnational collective action (Ansari et al., 2009). In our case we have to do with networks. "
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    ABSTRACT: Global action networks (GANs) are civil society initiated multi-stakeholder arrangements that aim to fulfill a leadership role for systemic change in global governance for sustainable development. The paper develops a network approach to study some of these GANs as motivators of global collective action and investigates how in their interaction processes the actors involved create the organizational capacity for collective change. Based on a variety of case studies, the paper highlights crucial factors determining the performance of GANs; among them the characteristics of the issue field and the development stage of the GAN. The analysis also shows how GANs play two crucial roles, sometimes in combination, sometimes successively. These are labelled as the broker and entrepreneur role. The paper concludes with some conditions for collective action that are underexposed in collective action theory.
    Global Environmental Change 02/2010; 20(1). DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.09.002 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    • "Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) they found significant measurable difference in mirror neural activity in their subjects depending on whether the information provider shared the subject's cultural/ethnic background. Molnar-Szakacs concludes, "Our data shows that both ethnicity and culture interact to influence activity in the brain, specifically within the mirror neuron network involved in social communication and interaction" (Molnar-Szakacs, 2007a, 2007b; Preston, 2006; and in press; Henrich and Henrich 2006). While one hesitates to draw any firm conclusions from this very preliminary research, further investigation of the links between cultural sources and the encoding of the neural system is certainly warranted, not the least for its possibly profound political implications. "
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    ABSTRACT: You need to indoctrinate empathy out of people in order to arrive at extreme capitalist positions. ?F. B. M. de Waal Empathy is the only human superpower—it can shrink distance, cut through social and power hierarchies, transcend differences, and provoke political and social change. —Elizabeth Thomas People in Third World countries think and laugh and smile, just like us. We have got to understand that we are them; they are us. —Rachel Corrie (as a 10-year-old) The official directives needn't be explicit to be well understood: Do not let too much empathy move in unauthorized directions. —Norman Solomon In his magisterial study, The Slave Ship, maritime historian Marcus Rediker has documented the role played by emotional and especially visual appeals in ending the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Not unlike the structural violence endemic to global capitalism today, the abolitionist James Field Stanfield argued that the terrible truths of the slave trade "had been withheld from the public eye by every effort that interest, ingenuity, and influence, could devise" (Rediker, 2007, p. 133). Therefore, "Stanfield appealed to the immediate, visceral experience of the slave ship, over and against abstract knowledge about the slave trade, as decisive to abolition . . ." (p. 156). The abolitionist's most potent weapon was the dissemination of drawings of the slave ship Brooks. Rediker asserts that these images were "to be among the most effective propaganda any social movement has ever created" (p. 308). Based on recent findings from neuroscience we can plausibly deduce that the mirror neurons of the viewer were engaged by these images of others suffering. The appeal was to the public's awakened sense of compassion and revulsion toward graphic depictions of the wholesale violence, barbarity, and torture routinely practiced on these Atlantic voyages. Rediker notes that the images would instantaneously "make the viewer identify and sympathize with the 'injured Africans' on the lower deck of the ship . . ." while also producing a sense of moral outrage (p. 315, Olson, 2008).
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