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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Theory

Enforcement

Variable relationship:

Ostrom (1990) discusses the importance of this theory as two separate (essentially monitoring and sanctioning) principles to successful CBNRM. In Gibson (2000) these two processes are united into one principle for successful management. This argument is broadly based on findings from traditional common-pool resource work (Coleman 2009; Cox 2014) and on standard environmental economics theory (Kolstad 2000; Goodstein 2008). In both cases, it is argued that monitoring and sanctioning processes (Self Monitoring; Self Sanctions; External Monitoring; External Sanctions) are needed to ensure that rules are complied with (Compliance). If this can be done in a cost-effective way (Transaction Costs), the commons can be preserved (Commons Condition Trend).

This theory includes both "self" and "external" monitoring and sanctioning, without distinguishing between these two basic types of enforcement. In the literature on community-based management (see Ostrom 1990), the emphasis is usually on self-monitoring and self-sanctioning (and see the theory "Crowding out from external sanctions" for an argument that the difference between these types of enforcement is significant). 

Project
SESMAD
Sector(s)
 
Scientific Field
Component Type(s)
 
Status
Public

Variables

VariableRoleRole ExplanationValue
Self SanctionsProximate independent variableSanctioning is an important follow-up activity to monitoring to ensure that the benefits of rule-breaking are negated.Yes (or substituted with external sanctioning)
External monitoringProximate independent variableMonitoring of a commons user group (by themselves or by another group) is critically important to sustain high levels of collective action. Yes (or substituted with self monitoring)
External sanctionsProximate independent variableSanctioning is an important follow-up activity to monitoring to ensure that the benefits of rule-breaking are negated.Yes (or substituted with self sanctioning)
Self monitoringProximate independent variableMonitoring of a commons user group (by themselves or by another group) is critically important to sustain high levels of collective action. Yes (or substituted with external monitoring)
Transaction costsModerating independent variableEnforcement is much more effective if it is done in a way that keeps transaction costs low.Low
ComplianceIntermediate outcomeThe presence of monitoring and sanctioning increases compliance with rules regarding the use of a commons.Yes
Commons condition trendFinal outcomeCompliance with rules regarding a commons helps to maintain the condition of this commons.Remained the same or improved

Related Theories

TheoryRelationshipCharacterizing Variables
Parametric managementnested
Ecological effectiveness of MPAsnested
Centralized conservationnested
Payment for ecosystem services (PES)nested
Ecolabelsnested
CBNRM design principlesnested
Numeric managementnested
Bans and perverse incentivescontradictory
Crowding out from external sanctioningcontradictory
Pigouvian taxesnested
Critique of fortress conservationcontradictory

Related Studies

StudyRelationship

Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the Commons. New York: Cambridge University Press.

support

Kolstad, C. 2000. Environmental Economics. Oxford University press, Oxford, UK.

support

Coleman, E. A., and B. C. Steed. 2009. Monitoring and sanctioning in the commons: An application to forestry. Ecological Economics 68:2106–2113. Elsevier.

support

Cox, M., 2014. Applying a Social-Ecological System Framework to the Study of the Taos Valley Irrigation System. Hum. Ecol. 42, 311–324.

support

Goodstein, E.S., Polasky, S. [VNV], 2008. Economics and the Environment. John Wiley & Sons Hoboken, NJ.

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