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The Tragedy of Exclusion

Globalization has altered the conditions under which different actors have access to scarce resources, including non-renewable environmental resources that are indispensible for survival. Removing entry barriers to the flow of goods and capital, zoning and titling land and allocating property rights either explicitly to the state or to private agents has in effect created transnational markets in land, its resources and usages. This may well increase efficiency in the use of increasingly scarce arable or habitable land. Efficiency, however, needs to be balanced with justice – especially when access to land and its resources is essential for survival. Justice calls for a shift of attention from how governance affects a given asset or resource and its economic value to how it affects human life, including the norms different people have reason to value. 

Background: In June 2013 the center held a conference on “Governing Access to Essential Resources” at Columbia University in New York. Senior scholars, postdocs and doctoral student from around the world attended the conference. 

The theme plays with Hardin’s famous term of the “tragedy of the commons” and articulates that enclosure and property allocation always entails exclusion and that the plight of the excluded needs to be addressed

It established the intellectual foundation for a multi-year research project now operating under the heading of “The Tragedy of Exclusion”. The theme plays with Hardin’s famous term of the “tragedy of the commons” and articulates that enclosure and property allocation always entails exclusion and that the plight of the excluded needs to be addressed.  In order to deepen our understanding of the development of property regimes in different parts of the world, in the second phase of the project teach-ins and research workshops (Global Think-ins) are held in different parts of the world. 

Activities:

Teaching:

  • Teach-ins for doctoral students and postdocs were held in Bangalore and Mumbai in the spring of 2014

Research

  • Research workshops were held at Columbia’s Global Centers in Mumbai (March 2014) and Istanbul (June 2014). 

The project is funded by Professor Pistor’s Max Planck Research Award.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law

ACADEMIC UNIT

School:
Law
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