SDC-10306 Law, Policy and Governance


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. FM Köhne
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. JWM van Dijk
dr. FM Köhne
drs. LFP Pijnenburg
EE van Dis
dr. ir. PA de Vries
Examiner(s)dr. FM Köhne

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

SDC-23306 Law and Public Power


This course is an introduction to legal anthropology with a focus on the different ways in which law, governance and policy affect the management of, and conflicts on, natural resources. It entails legal anthropological theory and case studies on: property, authority, land tenure, policy making, governance, semi-autonomous social fields, certification, human rights, vulnerability, legal pluralism, multiple governance, interactive governance and studying up/down/through of policy processes. It pays attention to different uses of law and emphasizes the importance of both contextually, and the interaction between actors within social groups and between those groups.
Central in this course is the way in which law affects people's access to natural resources and its effects on the sustainability of the use of these resources. A number of developmental themes is explored in which the role of law is analysed. Among these are: land grabbing, private regulation of palm oil, human right, national development programming and climate change.
The course also includes a short philosophical introduction to the ethical grounding of human rights and the interrelations between law, society and world politics.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- distinguish and recognize philosophical, legal and anthropological approaches to law, governance and policy;
- apply the 'anthropological and philosophical' approaches on four problems:
a. landconflict;
b. private transnational governance of tropical production;
c. human rights law, policies and practices;
d. governance change in Africa.
- recognise, describe and apply a number of concepts and approaches central to anthropology of law: semi-autonomous social fields, the workings of law, legal pluralism, property, land formalisation, multiple governance, interactive governance, studying up/down/through of policy processes;
- recognise, describe and apply a number of concepts and approaches from the philosophical approach. The interrelations between the meaning of concepts like: human rights (and its possible horizontal effects), democracy, legitimacy, legality, communication, and their relevance for social issues.
- analyse relationships between these concepts and approaches;
- analyse case material using these concepts and approaches.


- active participation in class;
- reading assignments on cases (in pairs of students);
- readings.


Written exam with open questions (100%). A bonus arrangement applies: a maximum of 1,0 bonus point can be earned through satisfactory completion of reading assignments.


More information will be available several weeks in advance at the Blackboard Coursesite.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBSc3WD