Intersubjective Meaning and Collective Action in Developing Societies: Theory, Evidence and Policy Implications
World Bank - Development Research Group; Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government
University of London, School of Oriental & African Studies - School of Law
Journal of Development Studies, Forthcoming
The capacity to act collectively is not just a matter of groups sharing interests, incentives and values (or being sufficiently small), as standard economic theory predicts, but a prior and shared understanding of the constituent elements of problem(s) and possible solutions. From this standpoint, the failure to act collectively can stem at least in part from relevant groups failing to ascribe a common intersubjective meaning to situations, processes and events. We develop a conceptual account of intersubjective meanings, explain its relevance to development practice and research, and examine its implications for development work related to building the rule of law and managing common pool resources.
Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 29, 2012
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