Revisiting A Theory of Access: A review

Rodd Myers, Christian Pilegaard Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


A Theory of Access (Ribot and Peluso 2003) was published 15 years ago. With almost 1600 publications citing it, the paper is instrumental in expanding scholarly thinking beyond property by exploring notions of power. We reviewed all available literature that cited A Theory of Access to understand its influence on academic literature. We first analyse literature in relation to other frameworks with similar concerns: (1) entitlements framework, (2) sustainable livelihoods approach, (3) powers of exclusion; and subsequently move to a review of how it has been engaged in broader theoretical and conceptual debates in the social sciences: (4) gender, (5) materiality, (6) property and authority, and (7) power. The analysis shows most of the literature interacts with A Theory of Access superficially. Substantial attempts to address A Theory of Access were varied and often used it to develop other social theory rather than to modify A Theory of Access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-166
Number of pages21
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number2
Early online date18 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Access
  • natural resources-environmental sociology
  • power

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