How Community-based Tourism Improves Community Welfare? A Practical Case Study of ‘Governing the Commons’ in Rural Nglanggeran, Indonesia

Hempri SUYATNA*, Puthut INDROYONO, Tauchid Komara YUDA, Rindu Sanubari Mashita FIRDAUS

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Anchored in Ostrom’s (1990) account of Governing the Commons, this article discusses community-based mechanisms and their potential implication for poverty alleviation and well-being improvement of societies. The material for this article draws on our research report on the application of community-based tourism (CBT) as social innovation for poverty alleviation and social well-being improvement in the Nglanggeran village from 2009 to 2016, which continues to be monitored to date. Our findings indicate that community-led initiatives have been successful in alleviating chronic poverty and social problems by integrating local institutions and developing resource-based businesses. However, recent government intervention has limited the initiatives, highlighting a power imbalance between government agencies and the community. Consequently, CBT has become an industry reserved for a select few villagers who have formed partnerships with the government. It reveals the recurring problems of government–community partnership, which, over the last two decades, has expanded in many Southern countries and has resulted in contestations of political interest within the empowerment programme, all of which produced institutional constraints to ‘commons approach’ application to governance. This article contributes to understanding the dynamics of empowerment initiatives by highlighting the intersection of collectivity and welfare capitalism as an analytical framework, enabling the application of ‘the commons theory’ within community/social development studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-96
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Community and Social Development
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Governing the Commons
  • community development
  • empowerment
  • poverty alleviation
  • welfare
  • well-being


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