There is a fair degree of misplaced optimism about common property resource (CPR) management. In investigating common property issues for woodlands in communal areas in Zimbabwe, the authors are struck by the numerous case studies showing a breakdown of local institutions for CPR management, and the lack of any emerging alternative institutions for such management. There are a number of contributing economic, social and ecological factors to this phenomenon. The authors argue that the formal rule-based systems that form the cornerstones of the proposed CPR systems are far removed from the current institutional systems, rooted in norm-based controls. The authors suggest that advocacy of CPR systems has to be tempered with critical analysis.
World Development (2001) 29 (4) 589-600 [10.1016/S0305-750X(00)00114-5]