Collective action theories have been emphatic on how group behavior can be linked to institutions in some sense.
Through learning about collective action and how it can be linked to social change, it has been possible to synthesize two questions from the class literature. First, what preconditions exist during the formation of an interest group? Second, on the formation of an interest group, how can one ensure that the various members contribute to the promotion of social change and wellbeing of the group? With regards to the first question, people form groups so as to achieve things that would, otherwise, not be possible by single individuals via their own interests. The pursuit of self-interest, in the classical situation of the prisoner’s dilemma, can lead to inferior outcomes for the players (Hardin, 2012). This logic is also applicable to a large group where a group could be set up to pursue collective action through cooperation to improve their payoff. In addition, I have also learnt that there could be sub-groups that can still benefit were they to provide the full costs aimed at accomplishing the benefits of the group. A good example I have learnt about how collective action can brig social change is in companies coming together to lobby for tariffs from their own interests as they create benefits for other companies in their industry (Hardin, 2012). Through this, they bring social change.
As a result of my study, I have also come to learn about the China household responsibility reform system of the late 70s. Farmers initiated local reform and were forced to endure political risks because they were willing to abandon the commune system that they felt was inefficient and were willing to improve their wellbeing (Hardin, 2012). The local community’s close-knit nature meant that betrayal of the group’s