Land Governance Lenses

There are multiple factors that influence the way we as human beings see the world.  Education, culture, and particular disciplines, professions, and institutions all provide us with narratives, conceptual frameworks, and biases.  These become lenses through which see...

Causal pathways in environmental governance

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I’ve been silent for several months. I’m hoping that in the new year I can get back to a regular monthly schedule.   In an earlier post, I argued that formal land tenure systems—including policies and laws aimed at...

Why can’t we get past the “tragedy of the commons”?

Last year I postponed a rant about the ill-named “the tragedy of the commons” concept.  I can contain myself no longer. Since Garrett Hardin published his influential 1968 paper of that name, decades of scholarship has shown that he got it wrong.  In the right...

It’s not always a collective action problem

Commons thinking has had a profound influence on how we understand sustainability, land rights, and natural resource management.  This school of thought traces its origins most notably to Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and believes that under the right circumstances...

When Participatory Approaches Mess up Your Plans

I never imagined that this man who had brought his herd into this other community’s pastures and flouted the community’s grazing rules, and whose actions had disrupted our training workshop would become a champion of our approach.   The Interrupted Workshop I had...