Developing an Analytical Framework for Multiple-Use Commons

Victoria M. Edwards, Nathalie A. Steins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Much of the work on common-pool resources has tended to focus on ‘single-use' commons, where the resource system is used for extraction of a single ‘use' unit. However, as traditional commons evolve, research that explains the persistence of common-pool resources with multiple ownership, use and management structures will become increasingly relevant. This paper extends the analytical framework put forward by Oakerson (1986, 1992), for application to multiple-use common-pools, where multiple types of use are made of the resource system. Four components are introduced: (1) multiple-use analysis of physical and technical attributes (2) multilevel analysis of decision-making arrangements (3) social characteristics of the broad user community and (4) analysis of contextual factors. The multiple-use framework facilitates the understanding of multiple-use commons in a chosen time period and institutional change over time. The example of the New Forest commons in England is used to explain the operation of the framework in a field setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-383
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • analytical frameworks
  • commons
  • institutions
  • multiple-use
  • New Forest

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