SDC-31306 Property Rights, Natural Resources and Conflict


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. D Roth
Lecturer(s)dr. D Roth
dr. ED Rasch
Examiner(s)dr. D Roth
dr. ED Rasch

Language of instruction:



This course contributes to a further deepening of students' understanding of problems related to the use, management, and governance of natural resources. Taking a socio-legal perspective with a focus on property rights and access, the course explores the role of law and legal complexity in resources management and governance. Another important focus of the course concerns processes of contestation of rules and institutions in dynamic political, institutional, and ecological contexts, as well as resource-related violent conflicts. Climate change, wars and resource conflicts tend to increase insecurity and vulnerability, and are therefore a major threat to the (food) security of the rural populations that crucially depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. The course deepens the students critical understanding of the relationships between complex legal regulation, resource governance and resource-related conflicts.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to:
- be able to recognize and identify major concepts and theories used in the field of resource use, management, governance, and conflict;
- have developed skills for describing, comparing and interpreting scientific and policy-related texts about existing natural resource tenure conditions, intervention processes and conflicts, and for applying them to real-life conditions and processes;
- be able to analyse complex normative, legal and institutional settings of resource use, management and governance, as well as the relationships between natural resources, governance and violence;
- be able to critically appraise, assess, and reflect on theories, policies and practices concerning resources and conflict, and position themselves in scientific and policy-related debates about these issues.


The course consists partly of lectures and tutorials in which literature will be discussed, and partly of supervised peer review sessions in which students will peer-review each others' paper proposals and paper writing.


- individual paper and peer reviews (50%);
- two tests (50%) (closed book; including lecture material and powerpoints).
To pass the course each component requires a minimum mark of 5.5.


Course guide and reading material will be made available through the MyPortal.

Restricted Optional for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScB: Economics of Development4WD
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Communication, Technology and Policy4WD
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScA: Sociology of Development4WD