Evolutionary Theories and the Community Management of Local Commons: A Survey Academic Article uri icon


  • This article examines the evolution of economic theory to explain the emergence and maintenance of cooperation among users of local commons. The conventional view that "free riding" prevents cooperative solutions to the commons dilemma is challenged under new theories rooted in evolutionary paradigm and the institutional matrix within which individuals find themselves. Contrary to the prediction of the conventional view, modern evolutionary theories provide ample empirical and theoretical evidence in support of a community's ability to self-organize to preserve the local commons.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rupasingha, A., & Boadu, F. O.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • October 1998