Game on! Using in-class simulations to explain and explore provision and appropriation dilemmas

Frank van Laerhoven, Utrecht University

Shared (natural and man-made) resources such as fisheries, forests, grazing land, irrigation and drinking water systems, risk collapsing as a consequence of provision and appropriation dilemmas. Provision dilemmas occur when costs related with the provision of the system are private, whilst the benefits resulting from the resource are shared. Appropriation dilemmas occur when benefits related with harvesting from the resource are private, whilst the costs resulting from joined harvesting are shared. Provision dilemmas trigger under-investment in the resource, whereas appropriation dilemmas may prompt over-harvesting from the resource. The combined (potential) effect of both dilemmas is often referred to as a tragedy of the commons. I will use (not so) serious games to simulate some of the nuances of the dilemmas, and put the results into perspective by going over some of the essential concepts, claims and findings from the commons literature.

About the speaker

I am an assistant professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. I teach and study environmental governance, particularly the governance of shared natural and man-made resource systems (often referred to as commons). My most recent research has had me looking at - among other things- the role of NGOs in stimulating collective action among CPR users in India (with Clare Barnes), the role of gender in developing and applying adaptation strategies in response to climate change in Ethiopia (with Azeb Assefa Mehra), the governance of invasive species on the Dutch Antilles (with Jetske Vaas), the coproduction of community drinking water systems in Bangladesh (with Badrul Hasan), the potential of the use of sediments for the creation and governance of new land in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta area (with Sanchayan Nath), and the potential of participatory action research to avoid the pitfall of preconceived but false problem definitions by (development) programs and projects (with Madelon Eelderink). I am the co-editor in chief of the open access journal, the International Journal of the Commons.

Venue: Room 0.17

Date: 20 June 2018

Time: 16:00 - 17:00  CEST