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Archived Curricula Guide 2015–2017
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
QSR11 Tragedy of the Commons? Problems and Solutions 5 ECTS
Organised by
MDP in Quantitative Social Research
Person in charge
Professor in North American Studies and visitor


Strategic themes: Internationalisation

Learning outcomes

This class explores challenges and solutions for natural resource management with a special focus on common-pool resources. Students will learn classical solution proposals to common-pool problems as well as their shortcomings by combining theoretical understanding and empirical evidence on the topic.

After the course students (1) are familiar with the main questions and findings in the literature, (2) are able to deepen their knowledge independently, and (3) have a foundation on which to build their own research on the topic.


Sustainable use of natural resources is one of the key challenges facing societies today. This class explores problems and solutions associated with sustainable resource use by a combined study of political science, economics and sociology. In particular, we discuss strengths and weaknesses of privatization, state management and communal property arrangements using both game theory and empirical evidence, and introduce concepts that help in analyzing mixed property regimes. In addition, the class introduces several important themes in the literature, including e.g. supply side problems, role of sanctions, global commons, and new commons.

Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Open University Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in course work 
In English
In English
In English

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 1-5.
participation 20%, assignments 20%, and a final essay 60%

Study materials

Journal articles, selected textbook chapters

Further information

Number of students (min-max): 20

Belongs to following study modules

School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Social Sciences and Humanities