Common property regimes (CPRs) have received considerable attention in the scholarly literature. Consensus seems to exist concerning the importance of effective conflict prevention and management to the success of CPRs generally. This paper is concerned with the impact of disputes upon CPR management. In view of gaps in the literature, this paper addresses in an exploratory manner the following three questions concerned with conflict in CPRs: * What kinds of conflicts arise in association with what kinds of legal arrangements? In answering this question, attention will be paid to types of CPRs, institutional arrangements, and user groups, and so forth. * How are such conflicts processed (that is, managed in the system)? For example, what are the institutions/authorities responsible for dispute resolution, what means do they have at their disposal for dispute management, and what procedures can disputants follow for appeal? * What arrangements (that is, combinations of variables, such as rules, institutions, and settlement procedures, in context) seem to be least likely to give rise to conflict or, otherwise, to be most conducive to satisfactory conflict resolution? In the first section of the paper, definitions of CP and a typology of property forms are presented. In the second section, eight case studies of disputes in CPRs have been selected to represent diverse issues relevant to conflict management. In the third section, conflict management in CPRs is analyzed as a whole and comparisons are drawn from diverse systems. In the fourth and concluding section, the findings about the relationship between CPR legal arrangements and the incidence of conflict are summarized. In Appendix A, three proposed research questionnaires which deal with user groups, institutions, and disputes are presented.


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