Chiburte 3-4/2008

Sociologie Românească, Vol. VI, no. 3-4/2008, pp. 116-126.




Teoria accesului la resursele naturale şi practicile sociale de exploatare a pădurilor

Theories of access to natural resources and social practices of forest exploitation

Lavinia Chiburte


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Abstract: The article brings into focus a recent theory concerning the theory of access to natural resources and tries to answer to the following questions: what are the social practices used by a community in managing collective forests and how does theory succeed on deploying and explaining them? Local management of natural resources presumes collaboration between local actors and state (mainly embodied by law). Therefore, it is important to identify the mechanisms that people use for 'reorganizing' the political-economic context in order to get benefits. Access theory focuses on the social methods through which persons benefit from things, especially natural resources. These social mechanisms are called 'abilities'. In addition, I built up a case study in which I try to see how 'abilities' influence the assignation of access to forest, in a mountain community of post-socialist Romania. Furthermore, I indicate why access is more adequate in analyzing the social practices surrounding natural resources in the case of specific institutions of collective forests like Obste, Composesorat and the Community of Fortune. A new perspective on property is proposed, emphasizing the importance of the social understandings of ownership.

Keywords: municipality forest, theory of access, property, entrepreneurship, rights, public administration.

Cuvinte-cheie: pădure comunală, teoria accesului, proprietate, antreprenoriat, drepturi, administrație publică.