Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Chapter on “Pseudo-Commons” now open access

The Chapter on “Pseudo-Commons” by Prof. Theesfeld (2019) in the Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons available as open access. https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-the-Study-of-the-Commons-1st-Edition/Hudson-Rosenbloom-Cole/p/book/9781138060906

The Chapter on “Pseudo-Commons” by Prof. Theesfeld (2019) in the Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons available as open access. https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-the-Study-of-the-Commons-1st-Edition/Hudson-Rosenbloom-Cole/p/book/9781138060906

The Chapter on “Pseudo-Commons” by Prof. Theesfeld (2019) in the Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons available as open access. https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-the-Study-of-the-Commons-1st-Edition/Hudson-Rosenbloom-Cole/p/book/9781138060906

In the 50 years since Garret Hardin published his “Tragedy of the  Commons”, scholarship has revealed what Hardin did not recognize: that a  wide range of shared agricultural resources can be sustainably managed  through commons governance approaches. Yet, there are common-

property regimes that only exist on paper, or set up intentionally to profit individuals. We find these pseudo-commons increasingly in post-socialist  countries. Thus, Theesfeld explores here what the particularities of  natural resource management in the history of socialist countries are  that paved the way for pseudo-implementation or pseudo-collective action property regimes in contemporary post-socialist  countries. Moreover, what are the risks emerging from that for future  commons? Insights from irrigation and forestry show that the socialist  legacy and the prevailing Soviet mentality foster pseudo-commons,  with the tragic result of reinforcing social inequality and destroying  trust in a kind of governance proven to be helpful to rural development.

Theesfeld speech on IASC Europe and the Commons

Free, fair and vital / The Power of the Commons

Organized and funded by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sachsen-Anhalt in cooperation with the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg and the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)

Organized and funded by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sachsen-Anhalt in cooperation with the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg and the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)

Organized and funded by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sachsen-Anhalt in cooperation with the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg and the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)

Book presentation and discussion with Silke Helfrich

Free, fair and vital | The Power of the Commons (Original in German: Frei, fair und lebendig I Die Macht der Commons)
Book presentation and discussion with Silke Helfrich

What do public forests, software from Linux, community-supported agriculture and apartment-house  syndicates in common? All of this is not organized as private property  but based on collective usage without profit maximization. Because yes,  there is a real alternative to capitalism, to the lost state socialism,  to the overpowering market and state. It is human- and environment-friendly.  It satisfies needs and creates solidarity. It is as old as humankind  and can be found all over the globe: The Commons – sometimes also called  “common property”.

In her new book Silke Helfrich further  developed the findings of the Nobel prize winner and researcher of the  Commons Ellinor Ostrom and distinguished multifaceted patterns. After  the book presentation we will start a discussion with the author and the  audience. The main question will be how transformations towards a  lifestyle and an economy that respect the planetary boundaries can  succeed?

Prof. Dr. Insa Theesfeld, President-Elect of  the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) and  Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy at the Martin  Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, will be moderating the discussion.

The book is open-access and you can download an electronic version of it here    or purchase a hard copy.

Wednesday I 15 May 2019 I 7 pm

Literaturhaus im Kunstforum der Saalesparkasse

Bernburger Straße. 8 I Halle (Saale)

Entrance is free

Theesfeld new president-elect IASC

IASC president-elect

IASC president-elect

IASC president-elect

Prof. Theesfeld of the MLU has been elected as the new President of the International Association  for the Study of the Commons (IASC). She will start this 6-year term first as President-Elect on January 15, 2019.

Prof. Elinor Ostrom, who, together with Prof. Oliver Williamson, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2009, co-founded the IASC. She strived to learn from successful examples of how communities can self-organize to manage their scarce resources.

The IASC acts worldwide as the leading professional association of  scholars and practitioners concerned with the use and management of  shared resources. These are not only the traditional natural resources  such as pastures, forests and irrigation systems but also those we know  by the term "new commons", such as car-sharing, Wikipedia, freely accessible software, as well as seeds, or  “global commons” such as biodiversity and the deep sea.

Most urgent questions of our society are focused on the issue of  providing such resources. What can be learned from theories of human  behavior to cooperation and the governance of natural resources through  the provision of knowledge, housing, land, water or energy? Where is the  role of state and private sector?

"The special attraction of the IASC is its predominantly  interdisciplinary community, which nevertheless speaks one language and  whose members are always concerned with the solution of specific social  problems!", says Prof. Theesfeld, who starts her duties with great joy  and respect to this international office. The department of Prof.  Theesfeld has been researching the governance of natural resources and  "commons management" for many years.

Read more information about the IASC, its diverse activities across  the globe and various options to be part of the growing community at www   

Photo: Theesfeld

Photo: Theesfeld

Photo: Theesfeld

Together with colleagues from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Prof. Theesfeld discussed on Sept 18th, 2018 the role of scientific research in the process of designing land policies in Germany. She presented recent research results of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy. The main focus of the research is whether the density of resident farmers has an impact on the place attachment of rural inhabitants and therewith on social well-being in the countryside. The African delegates from academia and policymaking are on a study tour through Germany organized by the BVVG and GIZ.

New Publikation on property rights

What if informal rules and behavior patterns do not match the formal rules codified in legislation?

We developed a new research approach and were able to actually measure such discrepancies between informal and formal rules in managing agricultural land and water resources.

Read the full publication: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.03.030   

Source: https://www.lachschon.de/item/61900-Moewenwoche/

Source: https://www.lachschon.de/item/61900-Moewenwoche/

Source: https://www.lachschon.de/item/61900-Moewenwoche/

REMINDER AND UPDATES:
2 PhD Positions on Sustainable Water Governance in Central Asia at MLU Halle

 2 PhD Positions in SUSADICA Project

2 PhD Positions in SUSADICA Project

2 PhD Positions in SUSADICA Project

Earlier we announced the call for applications for 2 PhD positions within our newly approved SUSADICA project, funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung and implemented in partnership with Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) and The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

We are also glad to re-announce that we have now established a long-term cooperation with Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME) within this project. For those who were considering applying, we would like to remind that the deadline is approaching (see below).

We also remind that the two proposed research topics for the positions at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU Halle) are Nested and multi-level analysis of water governanceand Linking patterns of property rights in land and water. Methods from institutional economics and natural resource governance will be applied for conducting research in this project (see more info on the research areas at https://bit.ly/2KMFH4Q   ).

The full text of the updated call (now with TIIAME as one of the key partners in SUSADICA) is available here: https://bit.ly/2z6IxAY   .

The structure of the project offers an exciting opportunity for a unique international and inter-disciplinary collaboration - there are in total 10 PhD positions in the project that will have research stays both in Central Asia and in Germany. The applications with required documents (see the vacancy announcement) should be sent via email to susadica[at]iamo.de by 31 July 2018. Candidates with particular interest in the positions at MLU Halle are welcome to copy Prof. Dr. Insa Theesfeld (insa.theesfeld[at]landw.uni-halle.de) and Dr. Ilkhom Soliev (ilkhom.soliev[at]landw.uni-halle.de) in their application emails. There are contact details in the announcement for any questions or feel free to get in touch with us!

We are looking forward to your applications!

Urban Gardening serves soical sustainability

Foto: FH Münster

Foto: FH Münster

Foto: FH Münster

Nicole Rogge finished her German-wide survey of urban gardens. Her study shows that community gardens primarily serve the society’s need for social integration and therefore facilitate social sustainability. Interestingly, provision of regional or local food is found to be much less important.

New publication: doi:10.3390/su10041085   

Invitation to the master thesis defense of Mrs. Lisa Herrmann

Master thesis defense: Land rights of Native Americans

Master thesis defense: Land rights of Native Americans

Master thesis defense: Land rights of Native Americans

Would you like to learn more about land rights of Native Americans? Then you are cordially invited to attend the Master thesis defense of Mrs. Lisa Herrmann on the 13th of March from 10 to 11 am at seminar room 3.21 in the Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4. Master defense is public and participation does not require registration.

Prof. Theesfeld joined Central Asian Stakeholders

Meeting with Central Asia Stakeholders

Meeting with Central Asia Stakeholders

Meeting with Central Asia Stakeholders

Within the framework of the ForeCeA research project preparation phase, an interdisciplinary team of German researchers, ranging from Plant ecology, remote sensing to anthropology, engaged in a lively discussion with stakeholders from Central Asia.

At the Goethe University Frankfurt the team elaborated research needs for a more sustainable management and governance of riparian forests along several Central Asian rivers. The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy will contribute with the analysis of policy, institutional and governance aspects of sustainable natural resource management.

New research on natural resource governance with IAMO and CAREC

Meeting with IAMO and CAREC

Meeting with IAMO and CAREC

Meeting with IAMO and CAREC

On February 10, 2018 Dr. Soliev met with IAMO and  CAREC, our partners within the newly approved SUSADICA project on  sustainable agriculture in Central Asia. Some further collaboration  options such as partnership within ForeCeA project (BMBF) to conserve  riparian forests and possible involvement of CAREC in the activities of  IASC Europe on commons research in the long run were discussed.

Students rescue the Aral Sea

Water Governance Simulation Game 2018

Water Governance Simulation Game 2018

Water Governance Simulation Game 2018

With a simulation game to save the Aral Sea, students took over the role of international negotiators. Country delegations, the World Bank and environmental experts had prepared their arguments and characters and met each other. They were assisted by a student moderator to work out common strategies. Several negotiations brought us an exciting afternoon in the Water Governance master module.

Theesfeld appointed as Regional IASC Coordinator

IASC Regional Coordinator

IASC Regional Coordinator

IASC Regional Coordinator

The IASC is happy to announce that several members of the @IASC.Commons will act as Regional Coordinator for the IASC, enabling the IASC to  strengthen the bonds with regional developments and organizations. For  Europe, IASC Council Member Insa Theesfeld, Professor at  the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg will act as  Regional Coordinator. See more at: https://www.iasc-commons.org/iasc-regional-europe/    

Dr. Ilkhom Soliev took part in TU Berlin’ graduation ceremony

TU Berlin graduation ceremony Copyright_Christian Kielmann 2017-12-15

TU Berlin graduation ceremony Copyright_Christian Kielmann 2017-12-15

TU Berlin graduation ceremony Copyright_Christian Kielmann 2017-12-15

On 15 December 2017, an academic graduation ceremony took place for  graduates who defended their Doctoral (PhD) and Postdoctoral  (Habilitation) degrees at TU Berlin in 2016 and 2017. Our colleague Dr.  Ilkhom Soliev attended the event where TU-President Prof. Dr. Christian  Thomsen awarded his Doctoral degree in Economics (Dr. rer. oec.). Dr.  Soliev’s advisor at TU during 2012-2016, Prof. Dr. Volkmar Hartje  (pictured with Dr. Soliev), whose initiative started the tradition of  graduation ceremonies at TU, was also an honored guest of the event.

AGRITIP Stakeholder Meeting

First stakeholder meeting as part of the AGRITIP project

First stakeholder meeting as part of the AGRITIP project

First stakeholder meeting as part of the AGRITIP project

More than 20 participants from agricultural enterprises, administration and science met on 23 November 2017 at the Tourist Information Center in Prieros, Dahme-Heideseen Municipality, to discuss the research concept of AGRITIP. On the part of the Chair of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy, Frauke Pirscher participated in the meeting.

Silke Helfrich Guest Lecture

Silke Helfrich, given her keynote at the IASC European conference Commons in a "Glocal" World: Global Connections and Local Responses, 2016 in Bern

Silke Helfrich, given her keynote at the IASC European conference Commons in a "Glocal" World: Global Connections and Local Responses, 2016 in Bern

Silke Helfrich, given her keynote at the IASC European conference Commons in a "Glocal" World: Global Connections and Local Responses, 2016 in Bern

Conmons activist, author and founder of the  „Commons Strategies Group“ Silke Helfrich will give a lecture in the  Module “Gemeingütermanagement”.

28th November 2017 8:15 a.m. , von-Danckelmann-Platz 3 SR 1.09, Weinberg Campus

Topics to be discussed will be: fainating examples of commons  management. What does communing mean and why do some resources even  increase if we share them.

More discussion with Silke on her blog: https://commons.blog/    

All interested students are welcome- please inform us with a short email to the department of your intention to participate:

Excursion with water governance students to the waste water treatment plant North

For a successful and sustainable governance system of natural resources we also need to consider the technical requirements of the given infrastructure. Thus, we were curious to get some insights from the wastewater treatment plant in Halle North.

For a successful and sustainable governance system of natural resources we also need to consider the technical requirements of the given infrastructure. Thus, we were curious to get some insights from the wastewater treatment plant in Halle North.

For a successful and sustainable governance system of natural resources we also need to consider the technical requirements of the given infrastructure. Thus, we were curious to get some insights from the wastewater treatment plant in Halle North.

Traktor im Dorf

Traktor im Dorf

Traktor im Dorf

Landgrabbing in Eastern Germany

Is it really justified to talk about “Landgrabbing” in the East of  Germany? The study “Density of resident farmers and rural inhabitants`  relationship to agriculture: operationalizing complex social  interactions with a structural equation model”, published in the  scientific journal “Agriculture and Human Values” offers some  indications on that matter. The phenomenon shows a high degree of  complexity and so far, only very little socio-scientific data has been  used to understand the interplay of agricultural activity and rural  inhabitants. With the structural equation model, we now managed to  capture fine interactions between the ownership structure on agricultural land and rural place attachment.

For that, we interviewed 130 rural inhabitants and 20 farmers from  two rural regions in Saxony-Anhalt, asking questions regarding their  living situation, their relationship to agriculture and their feeling of  place attachment. For instance, the participants have been asked about  how rooted they felt in the region and how important agricultural  activity was for their village, whether they personally knew farmers or  were in contact with them and whether the farmers were socially involved  in the village. All those indicators have an influence on the vitality  of a rural region. Read more.

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