From Community-Based Resource Management to Complex Systems: The Scale Issue and Marine Commons
Fikret Berkes, University of Manitoba
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Most research in the area of common and common-pool resources in the past two or three decades sought the simplicity of community-based resource management cases to develop theory. This was done mainly because of the relative ease of observing processes of self-governance in simple cases, but it raises questions related to scale. To what extent can the findings of small-scale, community-based commons be scaled up to generalize about regional and global commons? Even though some of the principles from community-based studies are likely to be relevant across scale, new and different principles may also come into play at different levels. The study of cross-level institutions such as institutions of co-management, provides ways to approach scale-related questions and deal with linkages in complex adaptive systems. Looking beyond self-governance, community-based resource management needs to deal with multiple levels of governance and external drivers of change, as illustrated in this paper with examples of marine commons.
common property theory; community-based resource management; complex adaptive systems; marine commons; scale.