Author/s:

Afroz, S.
Cramb, R.
Grunbuhel, C.

Publisher:

Springer Link

Year of Publication:

2016

We examine the processes of collective management of water resources for agriculture within the wider context of environmental change in a coastal region of Bangladesh. We argue that while the formal propositions of rational-actor theories (such as the Institutional Analysis and Design Framework) help to identify the potential constraints to collective action (e.g., the free rider problem), these propositions need to be seen in the substantive social context of any given case. Findings show that the pattern of collective water management is crucially dependent on the individual economic incentives for participation as well as the social structures and norms that influence the behaviour of different classes of actor, including those with conflicting economic incentives. By examining the substantive processes of negotiation and decision-making around specific problems of water management, we are able to identify the contingent set of factors that shape the responses of different actors, enabling or constraining desirable collective outcomes.

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