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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Moral ecological rationality, institutions and the management of common property resources
Author:Cleaver, FrancesISNI
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:social structure
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00158
Abstract:This article considers theories of collective action in relation to the management of communal water resources in Nkayi District, Matabeleland North Province, western Zimbabwe. It shows how the embeddedness of institutions in social relations does not imply a solidity or fixedness in some mythical 'social reality'. Rather it involves evolving and negotiated relationships between socially, historically and ecologically located people who shape and are shaped by a variety of institutions of varying degrees of formality and organization. Drawing on ideas of the interaction of agent and structure (A. Giddens, 1984, 1989; and N. Long, 1992), of the embeddednes of economic transactions in social life (D. Granovetter, 1992), and the role of institutions in shaping individual perception and action (M. Douglas, 1987), the author explains how, in the case of Nkayi, a form of 'moral ecological rationality' links individual and collective action to environmental well-being and provides a framework within which communal resource management can be explained. This model of decisionmaking and action is deeply enmeshed in culture, history and agroecological conditions but is nevertheless susceptible to modification and change. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.