The Contested Commons / Edition 1

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The Contested Commons explores the theme of common environmental resources from the dual perspectives of economics and anthropology, with a focus on developing countries.

  • Contributed readings written by senior scholars in the fields of Economics, Anthropology, and Sociology
  • Looks at the challenges of interdisciplinary work in the social sciences, illustrating the variation in approaches/methodology
  • Focuses on economic security, ecological sustainability, identity formation, and participatory decision-making, particularly in the developing world
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I strongly agree with Gintis and do not hesitate to say that TheContested Commons is a welcome addition to the literature not onlyfor the social sciences but also for the humanities and naturalsciences. I recommend this book as a must read not only for all thesocial scientists, but also policy analysts and personnel involvedin the planning process." (Journal of Natural Resources PolicyResearch, 1 October 2011)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405157162
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/2/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Economics at the Universityof California at Berkeley, and co-chair of the MacArthurFoundation-funded Network on the Effects of Inequality on EconomicPerformance. He has authored or edited a number of books, includingScarcity, Conflicts, and Cooperation (2005) andInternational Trade, Growth, and Development (Blackwell,2003). He was Chief Editor of the Journal of DevelopmentEconomics from 1985 to 2003.

Isha Ray is Assistant Professor in the Energy andResources Group at the University of California at Berkeley. She isan advisor to several water- and development-related organizations,and serves on the editorial committee of the Annual Review ofEnvironment and Resources.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.



1. Economists, Anthropologists, and the Contested Commons:Pranab Bardhan and Isha Ray (both University of California atBerkeley).

2. Managing the Commons: The Role of Social Norms and Beliefs:Jean-Philippe Platteau (University of Namur, Belgium).

3. Sustainable Governance of Common-pool Resources: Context,Method, and Politics: Arun Agrawal (University of Michigan, AnnArbor).

4. Cooperative Conversations: Outcomes and Processes inEconomics and Anthropology: Isha Ray (University of California atBerkeley).

5. Collective Action, Common Property, and Social Capital inSouth India: An Anthropological Commentary: David Mosse (Universityof London).

6. Culture and Power in the Commons Debate: Amita Baviskar(Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi).

7. A Simple Model of Collective Action: Rajiv Sethi and E.Somanathan (Columbia University and Indian Statistical Institute,New Delhi).

8. Revisiting Demsetz: Contextualizing Community-PrivateOwnership in Western India: Pranab Mukhopadhyay (University of Goa,Panaji).

9. Scale and Mobility in Defining the Commons: Vyjayanthi Raoand Arjun Appadurai (both The New School, New York).

10. Symbolic Public Goods and the Coordination of CollectiveAction: A Comparison of Local Development in India and Indonesia:Vijayendra Rao (The World Bank, Washington, DC).

11. Interdisciplinarity as a Three-way Conversation: Barriersand Possibilities: Sharachchandra Lélé (Centre forInternational Studies in Environment and Development,Bangalore).

12. Feminism Spoken Here: Epistemologies for InterdisciplinaryDevelopment Research: Cecile Jackson (Institute of DevelopmentStudies, Brighton).


Commentary 1: Social Norms and Cooperative Behavior: Notes fromthe Hinterland between Economics and Anthropology: Kaushik Basu(Cornell University, New York).

Commentary 2: Sociologists and Economists on “theCommons”: Erik Olin Wright (University of Wisconsin,Madison).

Commentary 3: CPR Institutions: Game-theory Constructs andEmpirical Relevance: Nirmal Sengupta (Indira Gandhi Institute ofDevelopment Studies, Chennai).

Commentary 4: Disciplinary Perspectives and Policy Design forCommon-pool Resources: Some Reflections: Kanchan Chopra (Instituteof Economic Growth, New Delhi).

Commentary 5: Understanding Common Property Resources and TheirManagement: A Potential Bridge across Disciplinary Divides?: A.Vaidyanathan (Madras Institute of Development Studies,Chennai).

Commentary 6: And Never the Twain Shall Meet? An Exchange on theStrengths and Weaknesses of Anthropology and Economics in Analyzingthe Commons: Ravi Kanbur and Annelise Riles (Cornell University,New York).


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