Self-governance of water resources under climate change: Insights from Cambodia

Samenvatting (Engelstalig):

Worldwide, water governance is facing pressing challenges due to climate change, potentially aggravating water scarcity. This thesis uses modelling and economic experiments to analyze under what conditions cooperative arrangements can be established and maintained under climate change. Findings show that social norms of cooperation may collapse in times of resource scarcity, especially if institutions are trapped in a state of low cooperation, and weak peer enforcement. Stronger social capital, however, may allow to escape such trap and mitigate scarcity effects. Our experimental results show a broad support for costly institutions, especially if the users had been exposed to resource scarcity in the past, implying that individual experience about prior exposure to scarcity may have a connection with support for management institutions. Finally, the findings also highlights the tension to cooperate within and between communities of resource users, and that cooperation in both communities depends on social structure and characteristics that enable learning within and across communities.