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ERIC Number: EJ784304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Pages: 29
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 162
ISSN: ISSN-0036-0112
A Theory of Access
Ribot, Jesse C.; Peluso, Nancy Lee
Rural Sociology, v68 n2 p153-181 Jun 2003
The term "access" is frequently used by property and natural resource analysts without adequate definition. In this paper we develop a concept of access and examine a broad set of factors that differentiate access from property. We define access as "the "ability" to derive benefits from things," broadening from property's classical definition as "the "right" to benefit from things." Access, following this definition, is more akin to "a bundle of powers" than to property's notion of a "bundle of rights." This formulation includes a wider range of social relationships that constrain or enable benefits from resource use than property relations alone. Using this framing, we suggest a method of access analysis for identifying the constellations of means, relations, and processes that enable various actors to derive benefits from resources. Our intent is to enable scholars, planners, and policy makers to empirically "map" dynamic processes and relationships of access. (Contains 22 footnotes.)
Rural Sociological Society. 104 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7040. Tel: 573-882-9065; Fax: 573-882-1473; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A