Institute of Development Studies
Rules, Norms and the Pursuit of Sustainable Livelihoods
- Craig A. Johnson - 1997
- ISBN 1 85864 118 7
- 36 pages
- Printed price £12.95
IDS Working Papers - 52
The central aim of this Paper is to review the current understanding of how institutional arrangements can either encourage or discourage the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods. It explores the relationship between resources and capital, examining the nature of property rights and regimes, looking at the ways in which social exclusion affects the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods, and critiquing Common Pool Resource (CPR) theory. It concludes that socially shared rules can encourage sustainable livelihoods provided the rate at which individuals extract benefits from the resource base remains relatively low, and distribution of benefits remains wide. However, when such rules reinforce more narrow distributional patterns, livelihoods can be profoundly unsustainable, irrespective of the physical state of the resource base.