The Global Commons: An Introduction

The Global Commons: An Introduction

by Susan J. Buck


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The Global Commons: An Introduction by Susan J. Buck

<p>Vast areas of valuable resources unfettered by legal rights have, for centuries, been the central target of human exploitation and appropriation. The global commons-Antarctica, the high seas and deep seabed minerals, the atmosphere, and space-have remained exceptions only because access has been difficult or impossible, and the technology for successful extraction has been lacking. Now, technology has caught up with desire, and management regimes are needed to guide human use of these important resource domains.<p>In The Global Commons, Susan Buck considers the history of human interactions with each of the global commons areas and provides a concise yet thorough account of the evolution of management regimes for each area. She explains historical underpinnings of international law, examines the stakeholders involved, and discusses current policy and problems associated with it.<p>Buck applies key analytical concepts drawn from institutional analysis and regime theory to examine how legal and political concerns have affected the evolution of management regimes for the global commons. She presents in-depth case studies of each of the four regimes, outlining the historical evolution of the commons-development of interest in exploiting the resource domain; conflicts among nations over the use of the commons; and efforts to design institutions to control access to the domains and to regulate their use-and concluding with a description of the management regime that eventually emerged from the informal and formal negotiations.<p>The Global Commons provides a clear, useful introduction to the subject that will be of interest to general readers as well as to students in international relations and international environmental law, and in environmental law and policy generally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781853835643
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/01/1998
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240

About the Author

Susan Buck is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Before earning her Ph.D. in public administration at Virginia Tech, she supervised the Wetlands Research Laboratory at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. In addition to Understanding Environmental Administration and Law, she has written The Global Commons (Island Press, 1998), co-authored a text in public administration, and contributed numerous articles and book chapters on environmental policy and law. Dr. Buck lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

As a political economist, Elinor Ostrom studied how institutions—conceptualized as sets of rules—affect the incentives of individuals interacting in repetitive and structured situations. Ostrom and her colleagues at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University developed the Institutional Analysis and Development framework, which enables them to analyze diversely structured markets, hierarchies, common-property regimes and local public economies using a common set of universal components. Large-scale studies of urban public economies demonstrated that systems composed of a few large-scale producers of services, such as forensic laboratories and training academies, combined with a large number of autonomous direct service producers (such as crime and traffic patrol) perform more effectively at a metropolitan level than a few consolidated producers. More recent empirical studies in the field and in the experimental laboratory have challenged the presumption that individuals jointly using a common-pool resource would inexorably be led to overuse, if not destroy, the resource. The design principles characterizing robust self-governed resource systems have been identified. An initial theory of institutional change has been formulated and is being tested.
In 2009, Elinor Ostrom became the first woman to receive the prestigious Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.Dr. Ostrom passed away on June 12, 2012.

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