Environmental and Resource Economics
Humboldt University, Berlin Module Leaders: : Konrad Hagedorn, Andreas Thiel, Sergio Villamayor Tomas
The course introduces an understanding of the interactions between the environment and humans that fundamentally differs from conventional environmental economics. It is founded on ecological and institutional economics. Concepts of institutional, ecological and resource economics are addressed and further explored in terms of their practical and methodological implementation.
The course covers conceptualisations of social ecological systems through function analysis and ecosystem services and focuses on institutions, frameworks for analysis, and theories of institutional change. In addition research design and methodologies for researching institutions are discussed. Conceptual frameworks include the Institutional Analysis and Development approach (IAD), the Institutions of Sustainability approach (IoS), Integrative and Segregative Institutions (ISI), Transaction Interdependence Cycle, Fit, Interplay and Scale. Theories presented cover property rights theories, transaction cost theory, approaches to game theory and analysis of institutional change and evolution. Empirical cases on the local, regional, national and international level will be looked at and discussed.
By means of course and group work students will familiarise themselves with the material taught. Subsequently, students will apply their knowledge to specific environmental and resource problems in seminar discussions, preparation of course work and in the context of the excursion.The destination of the excursion is the “Biosphärenreservat Flusslandschaft Elbe-Brandenburg”, a biosphere reserve about 100km west of Berlin. Pertinent issues in the area are several “real life” aspects of environmental organisation such as multilevel governance, local and regional environmental coordination, interest groups, participation, compensation and execution of laws will be presented and discussed. The excursion area will provide the examples for which students are asked to subsequently develop research designs as part of their course work.