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Anthropology 4400

THE RULES OF THE
“SUSTAINABILITY GAME”
University of Texas at San Antonio, Fall 2016
blogs.ubc.ca

LOCATION: MH 3.03.12
TIME: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11:15am
INSTRUCTOR: Allison Koch
OFFICE: MH 3.04.17
OFFICE HOURS: Wednesdays, 9-11am or by
appointment
PHONE: (319) 540-4637
EMAIL: Allison.koch@utsa.edu

Course Description
This course will explore how institutions—defined in this context as the “rules” of the system—are
involved in decision-making by states, corporations, groups, and individuals regarding resources
and the environment. Students should walk away with an in-depth understanding of social and
environmental sustainability as viewed through an institutional lens.
Objectives
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
 Understand and describe the “tragedy of the commons” as well as specific cases of
successful common property regimes
 Analyze how institutions are involved at multiple levels of socio-political organization, from
the village level to the international level
 Critically dissect the language of formal documents and the mechanisms behind marketbased instruments, certification schemes, and voluntary codes of conduct
 Construct a written analysis of an institutional problem regarding environmental
sustainability and present this to the class
Course Texts
Readings will be posted on BlackBoard.
Course Requirements
Reading Responses: Throughout the course, students are required to complete a set of readings
each week to prepare for class discussions. To assess learning, you are required to write 8 critical
responses. These may be written over the content for any day that you choose (EXCEPT for days
when only one reading is required). You will have many opportunities to write these responses, so
plan accordingly. You may write 10 total if you wish, and then I will drop the lowest 2 grades. The
responses should be 2 pages in length (1-in margins, 1.5 spaced, Times New Roman font). They
should incorporate all of the readings from that day, as well as any relevant readings that we

previously read. You should construct a formal argument with supporting evidence. These
responses are not simply personal narratives or statements that you did or did not like the
readings. Include a title and bibliography with your response, but do not include this in your 2-page
allotment.
Semester Project: Students will work in groups on a sustainability issue of their choosing. Students
will research a current problem with attention to the institutional dimensions of that problem. You
will then present your findings to the class in an oral presentation.
Reading Quizzes: To ensure that students are keeping up with the readings, I will randomly hand
out five short quizzes throughout the semester. These will ask you to
Class Attendance and Participation: Discussions are central to this course, so it is imperative that
you attend class. You may take 3 absences without penalty. For each additional absence, I will
deduct 3% from your overall grade. Class exercises are included in your participation grade and
will be graded upon completion.
Reading Responses

40%

Class Project – group grade

20%

Class Project – individual grade

20%

Reading Quizzes

10%

Class Attendance

10%

Course Policies
Technology. All cell phones must be on silent and put away. Laptops are permitted in the classroom
as long as the students are using them for class material. I reserve the right to declare that laptops
be put away.
Late Work. No late work will be accepted.
Extra Credit. I have plenty of assignments throughout the semester that will give you opportunities
to keep your grade up, so I do not give extra credit.
Academic Integrity. Students are expected to review and adhere to UTSA’s standards of academic
honesty. The Student Code of Conduct can be found below. I have a zero-tolerance policy for a
breach in this policy, all work that does so will earn an automatic 0.
http://catalog.utsa.edu/informationbulletin/appendices/studentcodeofconduct/
Classroom Behavior. To respect our fellow classmates, I expect behavior that fosters an active
learning environment. This includes: being in your seat at the start of class, staying for the duration
of class, keeping all electronics put away, listening to classmates’ opinions and responding with
respectful comments, encouraging each other, and knowing when to speak and when to stay quiet.
Disrespectful classroom or social media behavior directed at classmates will not be tolerated. I
reserve the right to ask you to leave class or to take away points for inappropriate behavior.

Course Calendar
Week 1
Tuesday: INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE
Thursday: FROM AN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
Miller, G.T. and S.E. Spoolman (2009) Chapter 1, Essentials of Ecology. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole,
Cengage Learning, Inc.
Week 2
Tuesday: MOVING TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY
UN (2002) Report on the World Summit of Sustainable Development, pp. 1-41. Johannesburg, South
Africa, 26 August-4 September, 2002.
UN (1993) ‘Table of Contents’, Agenda 21: The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio. New
York: United Nations.
Thursday: INTRODUCTION TO PROPERTY REGIMES
Bromley, D.W. (1991) Property rights and property regimes in natural resource policy, Ch. 2. In:
D.W. Bromley, Environment and economy: Property rights and public policy, pp. 14-40.
Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, Inc.
Bromley, D.W. and M.M. Cernea (1989) ‘Project strategies and resource management,’ section III. In:
The management of common property natural resources: Some conceptual and operational
fallacies, pp. 27-53. World Bank Discussion Paper 57. Washington D.C.: World Bank.
Week 3
Tuesday: CUSTOMARY LAW & INSTITUTIONS
Ruddle, K., E. Hviding and R.E. Johannes (1992) Marine resources management in the context of
customary tenure. Marine Resource Economics 7(4): 249-273. [online:
http://purl.umn.edu/48631].
Zerner, C. (1994) Through a green lens: The construction of customary environmental law and
community in Indonesia’s Maluku Islands. Law & Society Review 28(5): 1079-1122.
Thursday: FORMALIZATION OF CUSTOMARY RIGHTS
de Soto, H. (2003) Listening to the barking dogs: Property law against poverty in the non-West.
Focaal - European Journal of Anthropology 41: 179-185.
Joireman, S.F. (2008) The mystery of capital formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, property
rights and customary law. World Development 36(7): 1233–1246.
Lastarria-Cornhiel, S. (1997) Impact of privatization on gender and property rights in Africa. World
Development 25(8): 1317-1333.

Week 4
Tuesday: THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS
Hardin, G. (1968) The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243−1248.
Campbell, B. et al. (2001) Challenges to Proponents of Common Property Resource Systems:
Despairing Voices from the Social Forests of Zimbabwe. World Development 29(4): 589-600.
Feeny, D., F. Berkes, B. McCay, and J. Acheson (1990) The tragedy of the commons: twenty-two
years later. Human Ecology 18(1): 1−19.
Thursday: COMMON PROPERTY REGIMES
Schlager, E. and E. Ostrom (1992) Common property and natural resources: A conceptual analysis.
Land Economics 68(3): 249-262.
Hess, C. and E. Ostrom (2003) ‘What is a commons?’ and ‘Clarifying key concepts’. In: Ideas,
Artifacts, and Facilities: Information as a Common-Pool Resource, pp. 114-128.
[online:http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/66LCPHess].
Berkes, F., D. Feeny, B. McCay, and J. Acheson. (1989) The benefits of the commons. Nature 340: 91–
93.
Week 5
Tuesday: INSTITUTIONS OF COLLECTIVE ACTION
Ostrom, E. (1990) Analyzing long-enduring, self-organized, and self-governed CPRs, Ch. 3. In: E.
Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, pp. 58-102.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Thursday: CASE STUDIES IN CPR MANAGEMENT
Gausset, Q. (2004) Chronicle of a Foreseeable Tragedy: Birds' Nests Management in the Niah Caves
(Sarawak). Human Ecology 32(4): 487-507.
Neves-Graça, K. (2004) Revisiting the Tragedy of the Commons: Ecological Dilemmas of Whale
Watching in the Azores. Human Organization 63(3): 289-300.
Stronza, A. L. (2009) Commons Management and Ecotourism: Ethnographic Evidence From the
Amazon. International Journal of the Commons 4(1): 56-77.
Week 6
Tuesday: COLLECTIVE ACTION: CONTEMPORARY APPLICATIONS
German, L., H. Taye, S. Ayele, W. Mazengia, T. Tolera, M. Tsegaye, K. Abere, K. Bedane and E. Geta
(2008) Institutional Foundations of Agricultural Development in Ethiopia: Drawing Lessons
from Current Practice for Agricultural R&D. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture 47(3):
191-216.
German, L., W. Mazengia, S. Nyangas, J. Meliyo, Z. Adimassu, B. Bekele and W. Tirwomwe (2011)
Participatory landscape governance. In: L. German, J. Mowo, T. Amede and K. Masuki (eds),
Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Highlands of Eastern Africa: From Concept to
Practice, pp. 59-194. London: Earthscan.

Thursday: LEGAL PLURALISM
Meinzen-Dick, R.S. and R. Pradhan (2002) Legal Pluralism and Dynamic Property Rights. CAPRi
Working Papers no. 22. [Online: http://www.capri.cgiar.org/pdf/capriwp22.pdf]
Benda-Beckmann, F. von and K. von Benda-Beckmann (2006b) Changing one is changing all:
Dynamics in the adat-islam-state triangle. Journal of Legal Pluralism 53-54: 239-270.
Week 7
Tuesday: ‘CUSTOMARY’ TENURE & LEGAL PLURALISM
Schmid, U. (2001) Legal pluralism as a source of conflict in multi-ethnic societies: The case of
Ghana. Journal of Legal Pluralism 46:1–48.
Thursday: FORMALIZATION / PRIVATIZATION / INDIVIDUALIZATION OF TENURE
Jodha, N. (1984) Causes and consequences of decline of common property resources in the arid
region of Rajasthan: Micro-level evidence. JA No. 441. Andhra Pradesh: ICRISAT.
Brown, T. (2005) Contestation, confusion and corruption: Market-based land reform in Zambia. pp.
79-107. In S. Evers, M. Spierenburg, & H. Wels (eds.), Competing Jurisdictions: Settling Land
Claims in Africa, pp. 79-107. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV.
Fitzpatrick, D. (2005) ‘Best practice’ options for the legal recognition of customary tenure.
Development and Change 36(3): 449-475.
Week 8
Tuesday: NATIONAL POLICY MAKING PROCESSES
Grindle, M.S. and J.W. Thomas (1991) Public Choices and Policy Change: The Political Economy of
Reform in Developing Countries. Chapter 1 (pp. 1-10) and 3 (pp. 43-69). Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press.
UNEP (2005) ‘The Role of National Environmental Law’ (Chapter 2). In: Training Manual on
International Environmental Law, pp. 15-22. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Program.
Thursday: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT MITIGATION
Government of Zambia (1997) The Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Environmental
Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1997. Statutory Instrument No. 28. Lusaka: Government of
Zambia.
Lissu, T. A. (1999) Environmental impact assessment of foreign investment projects: A Study in the
Law, Policy and Governmental Decision-making in Tanzania.
Week 9
Tuesday: LAND TENURE AND ACCESS
Republic of Zambia (1995) The Lands Act. Lusaka: Republic of Zambia.
Republic of Zambia (1970) The Lands Acquisition Act. Lusaka: Republic of Zambia.
German, L., Mwangi, E., & Schoneveld, G. (2011) Contemporary processes of large-scale land

acquisition by investors: Case studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Occasional Paper no. 68.
Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR.
Thursday: THE WEAKENING AUTHORITY OF THE STATE
Lipschutz, R.D. and C. Fogel (2002) “Regulation for the rest of us?” Global civil society and the
privatization of transnational regulation. In: R.B. Hall and T.J. Biersteker (eds), The Emergence of
Private Authority in Global Governance, pp. 115-140. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
**Discuss final project and form groups.
Week 10
Tuesday: INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
UNEP (2005) ‘Multilateral environmental agreements’ (Chapter 1) and ‘Compliance and
enforcement of multilateral environmental agreements’ (Chapter 4). In: Training Manual on
International Environmental Law, pp. 1-13 and 39-49. Nairobi: United Nations Environment
Program. ‘Principles and concepts of international environmental law’ (Chapter 3), pp. 23-29.
Weiss, E.B. (1992) International environmental law: Contemporary issues and the emergence of a
new world order. Georgetown Law Journal 675 (1992-1993): 675-693.
Thursday: THE ROLE OF MULTI-LATERAL INSTITUTIONS (WITH REFERENCE TO LAND LAW)
Daniel, S. (2011) The role of the International Finance Corporation in promoting agricultural
investment and large-scale land acquisitions. Paper presented at the ‘International Conference
on Global Land Grabbing,’ 6-8 April, 2011, Brighton, UK.
Manji, A.S. (2006) ‘Paying for law: The World Bank and bilateral donors.’ In: Manji, A., The Politics of
Land Reform in Africa: From Communal Tenure to Free Markets, pp. 51-77. London: Zed Books.
**DUE: Task 1 of PBL Assignment. We will work in groups for half of the class period. Your topic
must be approved by the professor.
Week 11
Tuesday: LEGISLATION IN CONSUMER MARKETS
Achten, W. and L. Verchot (2011) Implications of biodiesel-induced land-use changes for co2
emissions: case studies in tropical America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Ecology & Society 16(4):
14. [online: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04403-160414].
European Union – EU (2009) Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
[online: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:140:
0016:0062:en:PDF].
Thursday: MARKET-BASED GOVERNANCE INSTRUMENTS
Haufler, V. (2001) ‘Introduction.’ In: V. Haufler, A Public Role for the Private Sector, pp. 1-5.
Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Cashore, B. (2002) Legitimacy and the Privatization of Environmental Governance: How-Non State
Market-Driven (NSMD) Governance Systems Gain Rule Making Authority. Governance: An
International Journal of Policy and Administration 15(4): 503-529.

Vatn, A. (2011) The role of markets in protection of environmental resources. Paper presented at
the ‘Ninth International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics’, June 1417, 2011, Istanbul.
**Half of class devoted to PBL group discussion.
Week 12
Tuesday: CERTIFICATION
FSC (1996) FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship, FSC-STD-01-001 (version 4-0).
Forest Stewardship Council.
Freeman, L. et al. (2009) Free, Prior and Informed Consent: Implications for Sustainable Forest
Management in the Congo Basin. In: L. German, A. Karsenty and A.-M. Tiani (eds), Governing
Africa’s Forests in a Globalized World, pp. 319-334. London: Earthscan.
German, L. and G. Schoneveld (2011) Social Sustainability of EU-Approved Voluntary Schemes for
Biofuels: Implications for Rural Livelihoods. CIFOR Working Paper 75. Bogor, Indonesia: Center
for International Forestry Research.
Thursday: VOLUNTARY CODES OF CONDUCT
GRI (2011) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, Version 3.1. Global Reporting Initiative.
FAO, IFAD, UNCTAD and the World Bank Group (2010) Principles for Responsible Agricultural
Investment that Respects Rights, Livelihoods and Resources.
Equator Principles (2006) The "Equator Principles": A financial industry benchmark for
determining, assessing and managing social & environmental risk in project financing. [online:
www.equator-principles.com].
Kolk, A. and R. van Tulder (2005) Setting new global rules? TNCs and codes of conduct.
Transnational Corporations 14(3): 1-28.
van Gelder, J.-W. and L. German (2011) Biofuel finance: Global trends in biofuel finance in forestrich countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America and implications for governance. CIFOR
InfoBrief 36.
Garvin, T., T.K. McGee, K.E. Smoyer-Tomic and E. Ato Aubynn (2009) Community-company relations
in gold mining in Ghana. Journal of Environmental Management 90 (2009): 571-586.
**DUE: Task 2. Half of class devoted to PBL group work.

Week 13
Tuesday: MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE
Armitage, D. (2008) Governance and the commons in a multi-level world. International Journal of
the Commons 2(1): 7-32.

Marshall, G. (2008) Nesting, subsidiarity, and community-based environmental governance beyond
the local level. International Journal of the Commons 2(1): 75-97.
Thursday: HYBRID FORMS OF GOVERNANCE
Cashore, B., G. Auld, S. Bernstein and C. McDermott (2007) Can non-state governance ‘ratchet up’
global environmental standards? Lessons from the forest sector. Review of European Community
and International Environmental Law 16(2): 158-172.
McGinnis, M.D. and E. Ostrom, E. (2011) Reflections on Vincent Ostrom, public administration, and
polycentricity. Public Administration Review. 11p. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02488.x.
Sikor, T., E. Barlösius, and W. Scheumann (2008) Introduction: Public−private relations and key
policy issues in natural resource governance. In: T. Sikor (ed), Public and private in natural
resource governance: false dichotomy?, pp. 1−18. London: Earthscan.
**Half of class devoted to PBL group work.

Week 14
Tuesday: TRENDS IN LARGE-SCALE LAND ACQUISITIONS
World Bank (2010) Land expansion: Drivers, underlying factors and key effects. In: Rising Global
Interest in Farmland: Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?, pp. 5-32. Washington, D.C.:
World Bank.
Cotula, L. (2011) The Outlook on Farmland Acquisitions. Rome, Italy: International Land Coalition.
Thursday: DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES ON LAND-BASED INVESTMENT
World Bank (2009) Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giant: Prospects for Commercial Agriculture in the
Guinea Savannah Zone and Beyond. Agriculture and Rural Development Notes 48. Washington,
D.C.: World Bank.
Borras, S.M., J.C. Franco, D. Carranza and M.L. Alano (2011) The fundamentally flawed ‘marginal
lands’ narrative: Insights from the Philippines.
**Half of class devoted to PBL group work.
Week 15
**DUE Monday at noon: PBL group PowerPoint slides.
Tuesday: Final Presentations
Thursday: Final Presentations