Right from Neolithic period swidden has been a widespread form of land use that varies in
character (Conklin, 1961). It embraces different topography, demographic feature, ethnic
and ecological diversities and varies in terms of cropping pattern, frequency of land use,
tools and methods of practice. It is argued that the institutions governing swidden are static
in nature and do not adapt to the changing ecological and social needs (Jarsoz, 1993; WRI,
1996). Therefore, it is necessary to understand what characterise institutions in a
Dr. Amalendu Jyotishi, “Institutional Analysis of Swidden: The Case of Swiddners in Orissa”, International Association of Agricultural Economists Conference, 2006.