A Graduate Defense Seminar will be presented by Divya Gupta, PhD Candidate, on Tuesday, June 24th at 1:00 p.m. in 245 Kottman Hall. She will present Explaining Enforcement Mechanisms in Collaborative Natural Resource Governance: A Study of Cases from Central Himalayan Region, India and Midwestern United States.
My study examines the factors that influence the communities to organize themselves to successfully govern common-pool resources (CPR). There is a consensus that enforcement is a necessary factor that promotes successful and sustained natural resource governance. However, less is known about the causal mechanisms of enforcement, and the factors that influence levels of enforcement. This study seeks to shed light on these important issues by focusing on the causal mechanisms of enforcement. A comparative case study approach was adopted where cases from two different democracies--India and the US were chosen. The research adopted a mixed-method approach that combined socio-political, institutional and economic variables that shape and influence the formulation of rules and enforcement mechanisms. The study helps in understanding institutional factors, different sets of rules and partnerships that affects collaborative natural resource governance. The results suggest that communities have higher compliance to the rules crafted by them. It was observed that user-crafted (informal rules) were mostly for minor resource use, for major resource use dejure rules were followed. Similarly, violations pertaining to informal rules were gradually sanctioned, whereas those concerning major resource use were sanctioned as per the legal procedures. The results further suggest the importance of increasing motivation and incentives as one of the effective measures for mitigating collective action problems. Results also highlight the role that government and non-government participation play in collaborative partnerships. It was observed that both in the cases of India and United States, government agency’s role was more of a source of funding for management projects/plans/other activities, while the NGOs despite lack of resources engaged in frequent interaction with the community and had deeper impact on getting the communities organized.