PIA 2164: Natural Resource Governance and Management

PIA 2164 -- Natural Resource Governance & Management -- 3.0 credits

Ilia Murtazashvili, Associate Professor, GSPIA (ilia.murtazashvili@pitt.edu)

In 1968, Garrett Hardin published “The Tragedy of the Commons.” In it, he argued that population growth would continue to put pressure on the earth’s natural resources in a nearly inevitable march toward the destruction of the commons. Hardin’s solution was mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon—up to and including population control. Rather than presume such extreme limits on liberty are necessary to preserve the commons, this course will explore the ways in which institutions—the informal and formal rules governing human behavior, especially property rights—can alleviate and even reverse the tragedy of the commons. We will consider all major categories of common pool resources in the course, including forests, land, water, forests, fisheries, oil and gas reservoirs, and the global environment. We will make use of a diversity of institutional perspectives throughout the course. Topics covered in relation to the sustainability of natural resources include: the tragedy of the commons; property rights; communities, equity, and conservation; private property; common property; and the global commons.