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tragedy of the Commons


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G. Hardin (1968) described an increase in the use of common land by a number of graziers, with each grazier continually adding to his stock of animals for as long as the marginal return from each animal is positive, even though the average return for each animal is falling, and even though the quality of the grazing deteriorates. Hardin used this metaphor to describe any situation where the interests of the individual do not coincide with the interests of the community, and where no organization has the power to regulate individual behaviour. Giordano (2003) AAAG93, 2 attempts to apply scale and space to an understanding of the tragedy of the commons.

Subjects: Environmental Science.


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