SDC-31306 Property Rights, Natural Resources and Conflict


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ED Rasch
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, access and resistance and social movements, the course explores the role of law and legal complexity in resource management and governance. Another important focus concerns processes of contestation of rules, institutions and resource-related (development or economic) policies in dynamic political and ecological contexts, as well as social mobilisation, violence and gender in natural resource-related conflicts. Climate change, wars and resource-related conflicts 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 legal-institutional complexity, practices of governing people and resources, and 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 natural resources, social movement and resistance, and conflict;
- describe, compare and interpret scientific and policy-related texts about existing natural resource tenure conditions, intervention processes, social movements and conflicts, and apply them to real-life conditions and processes;
- analyse complex normative, legal and institutional settings of resource use, management and governance, as well as the relationships between natural resources, management, governance and conflict;
- critically appraise, assess, and reflect on theories, policies and practices concerning resources, social movements 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%);
- examination (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 StudiesMSc5MO