Hardin recognized two ways to avoid overexploiting commons. One is to privatize them, so that the owner has both costs and benefits. Now he has every incentive not to overgraze. The other is to regulate them by having an outside agency with the force of law behind it -- a government, in short -- restrict the number of cattle.
The solution is neither privatization nor centralization. It is in the responses of local people getting together to solve their difficulties, as long as the community is small, stable, and communicating, and has a strong concern for the future. Such an autonomous community that interacts repeatedly can find a way to pursue the collective interest by altering the individual calculation of self-interest. This is something no distant government or indiviudal owner can do.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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