HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.


The capacity to act collectively is not just a matter of groups sharing interests, incentives and values (or being sufficiently small), as standard economic theory predicts, but a prior and shared understanding of the constituent elements of problem(s) and possible solutions. From this standpoint, the failure to act collectively can stem at least in part from relevant groups failing to ascribe a common intersubjective meaning to situations, processes and events. We develop a conceptual account of intersubjective meanings, explain its relevance to development practice and research, and examine its implications for development work related to building the rule of law and managing common pool resources.


Gauri, Varun, Michael Woolcock, and Deval Desai. "Intersubjective Meaning and Collective Action in Developing Societies: Theory, Evidence and Policy Implications." Journal of Development Studies 49.1 (2013): 160-172.