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Self-governance for a better livelihood: a case study of the Rai Dong Village
2005 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A large share of the land in northern Thailand has been left unused through speculative landowners and state ownership. Since 1997 landless villagers have started to systematically occupy the unused land in order to improve their livelihood. It has generated a series of disputes between the villagers, the landowners, and the government. Several arrests and major demonstrations have occurred during recent years and the villagers are faced with several charges. The progress towards an agreement is hindered by lack of consistency in policy implementation and corruption. Despite the ongoing conflict, the villagers are managing their new land as a common- pool resource. They have crafted institutional arrangements in order to enhance the probability of continuation and sustainability of their new land. The dilemma of how to manage common-pool resources for sustainability has been widely discussed in academia. The experience of state and private intervention indicates that neither has been particularly successful. An alternative might be self-governing communities with decentralized institutional arrangements that can become more victorious over longer periods of time. The purpose of this study is to provide a better understanding of how poor and landless people might build and sustain institutional arrangements for the management of communal property to enhance their livelihood. To reach this purpose, I conducted a case study of the Rai Dong Village located in the Lamphun Province, in northern Thailand. I investigated to what extent the Rai Dong Village has succeeded to establish an institutional framework for sustainability use of arable land held in common, and what general lessons were made from this specific case study. My main findings indicate that it is considered crucial to have clearly defined boundaries, proportional equivalence between benefits and costs, collective choice arrangements, monitoring, graduated sanctions, conflict resolution mechanisms, rights to organize and nested enterprises. The Rai Dong Village fulfills a large share of what is significant for long enduring, self-governing, common-pool resource systems. A large missing factor is the lack of formal recognition, which has a deteriorating effect on the system. Despite minimal recognition, the institutional arrangements are ambitiously crafted and are considered to be a crucial component in the sustainability of the communal property. However, the largest threats to the sustainability might not be the government or the institutional arrangements. The land not is not sufficient to secure livelihood for the new generation. Furthermore, the new generation is progressively seeking occupation outside the traditional agricultural sector seeking occupation in the modern industrial sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, self-governance, livelihood, institutional arrangements, common-pool resource, Rai Dong Village
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-46915ISRN: LTU-CUPP--05/112--SELocal ID: 485fca36-1f49-4792-9906-3eb48ce02296OAI: diva2:1020231
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Political Science, bachelor's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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