Communal Property System1

Communal Property System1 - Communal Property Systems In...

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Communal Property Systems In communal systems of land tenure and resource use, not only is access limited to members of the owning community, but the uses by those members is usually regulated by customary rules, informal social controls, and often even formal sanctions Let me mention 2 examples: 1. In the grazing commons of Europe (including those metaphorically referred to in Hardin's scenario), various rules existed to curb temptation to overgraze the commons in the pursuit of self-interest For example, in the alpine village of Törbel studied by Netting (1981: 61), alpine pastures were held in common by members of parish (outsiders being excluded), and furthermore no one could graze more stock than he could house and feed through the winter Thus, an extractive strategy of overstocking summer pastures and selling excess animals in the fall was discouraged by fact that one had to pay private cost of growing and harvesting winter fodder and building adequate barns; and in case people were tempted to cheat, any violators were fined a fixed amount per animal sold in the fall that had been pastured on the commons 2. Closer to home, lobster fisheries in Maine have been studied by anthropologist James Acheson, who found that even though particular fishing grounds are legally open access (the state requires a lobster-fishing license, but doesn't assign licensed fishermen to particular grounds), there is a de facto system of territories based on one's membership in a given fishing community Although there is no legal basis for this, and lobstering areas are not bought and sold (hence not recognized as private property), anyone who tries to violate communal
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