Social networks might be more important than formal institutions.
Social networks might be more important than the existence of formal institutions for, among other things, effective enforcement and compliance with environmental regulations. However, all social networks are not created equal, and their internal structures do make a difference for governance outcomes. The article, entitled “The role of social networks in natural resource governance: What relational patterns make a difference?”, discusses how social networks can (and cannot) influence the management of natural resources.
Social networks can at times be more important than the existence of formal institutions, but there is no guarantee to this. The level of influence also depends on the structure of the networks. For example, if only few ties exist among the networking actors, joint action is hard to achieve but, on the other hand, too many ties can reduce the capacity for effective collective action, says Örjan Bodin.