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The Rationale of Common Property in the Development Context

Soofia Mumtaz and Durre Nayab ()

The Pakistan Development Review, 1992, vol. 31, issue 3, 259-286

Abstract: Much of the debate on the modernisation of the common property regimes deals with the problem of the rationality of these regimes. Justification for the policy to be followed in planning change for such arrangements is given according to the divergent view points of development scientists on the subject This paper advocates rethinking of some of the fundamental concepts involved in the examination of the contexts where external intervention is to take place for the purposes of development, if a meaningful inter-disciplinary approach to development is to emerge. It invokes Godelier's treatise on the historic and social logic of real, rather than formal rationality, to highlight the bias inherent within, and limitedness of, the general understanding of the concept of formal rationality, or its focused, rather than holistic treatment in socio-historic terms. The case of the Chaprote forest in the Nagar valley of Northern Pakistan is presented to illustrate the historical and cultural rationality of traditional communal arrangements from the local consumption and conservation points of view, and the functioning of a logic within such arrangements which is relative and specific to the context in question. The variance between the thrust of external intervention, and the local potentials for managing and exploiting local resources is thus emphasised. Some recommendations for developing traditional regimes within the local and larger socio-historical context are made in conclusion.

Date: 1992
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