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Economic Anthropology- Analyzing the Mali fishing ritual

Read the following quick articles: The Dogon people of Mali prohibit fishing in Antogo Lake. The lake is held to be sacred, but fishing is allowed for 15 minutes on one day of each year. Youll see that one day in the photos on both of the web addresses above. I want you to construct a well-organized short (3-5 paragraphs) essay in which you apply the tools from the course to analyze this common pool resource and the behavior and rules that define it. This is an open assignment; I am not looking for a particular answer. Instead, I want to see how well you can apply ideas to new examples, getting the original idea correct and then finding a way to apply it to a novel circumstance. A good essay will clearly state how the behaviors and rules at the lake can be better understood by applying some idea or ideas from the course. For example, the title of one of the articles says that this ritual is crazy. But is it merely crazy? Or is there logic to it? What is that logic? This is the lecture that needs to be tied into it. The subject is Tragedy of the Commons. These are the notes for it below: Lecture 9 Tragedy of the Commons Common pool resources Excludability and rivalry Common goods = low excludability and high rivalry Tragedy of the Commons scenario South Park clip about peeing in the pool Hardins model: – Two different reproductive strategies – # of offspring depends on reproductive strategy – Reproductive strategy of next generation depends on parents – Prolific reproductive strategy in higher frequency than previous generation The American bison Hardins solution: – Private property – Government control From tragedy to policy African desertification Hardins ideology and assumptions – Prisoners dilemma Rational fools? Hardins assumptions: – Resource users are rational actors with standard preferences – Resource users are capable of exceeding the resource renewal rate – Resource users and their communities lack effective resources management institutions – Overexploitation of CPRs can only be prevented by privatization or government control. The anti-Hardin: Elinor Ostrom – Diversity of resource management institution operation in the real world – No panaceas (universal solutions)! o Private property and state property are two of many possible solutions o They are often not even good solutions, much less best solutions Triumphs of the commons: – Local communities have developed institutions for successfully managing the commons – How do they do it? o Adapting institutions to local circumstances o Establishing trust o Providing effective mechanisms for monitoring and sanctioning