There are many resources in the world that are managed as a community, such as a forest, irrigation systems, water management (the Dutch are a prime example). There are 9 principles that contribute to the proper management of the commons 1
- Membership boundaries are clearly defined
- The rules that govern the commons should match the actual conditions
- Those who are affected by these rules can participate in modifying them
- Those who monitor the rules are either community members or are accountable to the community, rather than outsiders
- Those who violate the rules are subject to graduated sanctions, which vary depending on the seriousness and context of the offense
- Conflicts should be resolved withing the community, using low-cost methods
- External authorities recognize the right of community members to devise their own institutions
- If the commons is part of a larger system, its governing rules are organized into multiple "nested" layers of authority
Check also: Elinor Ostrom, Governing The Commons (1990)
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