Instituciones de acción colectiva EN

Institutions of collective action, social capital and resource management in historical perspective: Europe and America


José Miguel Lana Berasain
(Universidad Pública de Navarra)



The objective of this project is to deepen the knowledge of collective action institutions related to the management of natural resources, understanding those as grass-roots institutions, organizations and regulations born and sustained from below. It is also intended to test the usefulness for historical analysis of conceptual frameworks and methodologies developed in the biophysical and social sciences, as is the case of Ecological-Social Systems (SES) or Critical Institutionalism. At the same time, it is intended to contribute to historicize these conceptual frameworks, thus improving the theoretical and methodological foundations. This gives continuity to previous efforts aimed at historically studying the logic and operation of communal property regimes. It started from understanding them as institutions capable of generating social cohesion, through the redistribution of opportunities and the shared re-elaboration of the rules and norms of community functioning, thus contributing to the identification of individual subjects with the community in which they act. But alternative scenarios are also contemplated, in which the distribution of power within communities can give rise to an unequal distribution of the uses, to extractivism and rent capture, and to processes of exclusion. It is the historical analysis that allows us to understand the diversity of developments. The project is fully part of the Spanish Science and Technology Strategy, aligned with the European Horizon 2020 framework program, in several of its objectives. The specific objectives are summarized in four lines of work: (1) The analysis of the emergence and evolution of collective action institutions in relation to resource management in America, comparing them to those already studied in Europe; (2) The analysis of the cultures around membership and participation in collective action institutions linked to the custody and management of natural resources, with special attention to the gender dimension and the social use of discourses; (3) The reconstruction of indicators on cooperation for Spain from the 18th to the 20th centuries, incorporating to those already available the information referring to brotherhoods, congregations and brotherhoods around 1770, and evaluating their effects on the accumulation of social capital and its impact on the regional development; (4) Analysis of exclusionary or inclusive practices in collective action institutions and the effects on the evolution of inequality and living standards. Finally, there is a willingness to coordinate efforts with other European and American colleagues to attend calls for research projects in the international arena.

Research team

Óscar Bascuñán Añover (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (NTNU, Norway)
Miguel Ángel Bringas Gutiérrez (Universidad de Cantabria)
Ana Cabana Iglesia (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)
Vicente Cendrero Almodóvar (IES La Jara, Córdoba)
Héctor García Montero (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
José Miguel Lana Berasain (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
María Sol Lanteri (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Emilio Majuelo Gil (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
Francisco J. Marco Gracia (Universidad de Zaragoza)
Francisco J. Medina Albaladejo
María Inés Moraes (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
Manoela Pedroza (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
José Antonio Serrano Álvarez (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)