Intersubjective Meaning and Collective Action in Developing Societies: Theory, Evidence and Policy Implications

Varun Gauri*, Michael Woolcock, Deval Desai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-172
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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