Collective action

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Collective action refers to action taken together by a group of people whose goal is to enhance their condition and achieve a common objective.


  • An institution is defined as collective action in control, liberation and expansion of individual action.
    • John R. Commons, "Institutional Economics" American Economic Review, vol. 21 (December 1931), p. 648.
  • What is missing from the policy analyst's tool kit - and from the set of accepted, well-developed theories of human organization - is an adequately specified theory of collective action whereby a group of principals can organize themselves voluntarily to retain the residuals of their own efforts.
    • Elinor Ostrom (1996) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action p. 25-26

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