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Title: Pastoral commons in western China : a new imstituional economics perspective
Author: Banks, Tony John.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis has the two-fold purpose of describing and explaining institutional arrangements for natural resource management in an extensive pastoral area of western China. It makes an original contribution to knowledge in terms of the documentation of contemporary local-level pastoral tenure arrangements in a region and country where they have rarely been documented before. Originality also stems from the thesis' employment of the new institutional economics framework to explain pastoral tenure in general, and pastoral tenure in the economic, social and ecological context of western China in particular. A case study approach involving three pastoral villages, two Kazak and one Tuvan, is adopted. Methodologies include a semi-structured survey of 30% of households (201 in total) in the case study villages. Local-level institutional arrangements for natural resource management are characterised by community-based regulation, group tenure arrangements (despite the emphasis of grassland policy on the individualisation of tenure), and variation in the fuzziness of boundaries. While allowing for the possibility of some efficiency losses, the overall pastoral tenure situation is inconsistent with the common perception of it as a `tragedy of the commons'. The exclusivity of pastoral tenure arrangements across space/seasonis associatedw ith resource scarcity. The persistenceo f group tenure and, more generally, of community-based natural resource management, is due to the relatively -low cost of collective action coupled with the benefits derived, including: economies of size with respect to herd supervision; external and seasonal exclusion; and social insurance. a The above findings reinforce contemporary critiques of the evolutionary theory of land tenure and common property theory, and add a new dimension to the literature on property rights reform in rural China. The major policy implication is the need for an incremental, experimental and participatory approach to institutional improvement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Xinjiang Economics Regional planning