SAR seminar

November 4, 2017
SAR picture

We just wrapped up our Research Team Seminar at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) to discuss what explains the sustainability of open property regimes. Here is the abstract. The goal of the research team seminar is to develop a theoretical model of property regimes as complex adaptive systems. The project builds on a NSF-funded project that showed how pastoralists’ management of common-pool grazing resources works as a self-organizing complex adaptive system in which individual movement decisions results in an ideal free distribution of cattle over available grazing resources in the Logone Floodplain of Cameroon. Multiple lines of evidence from ethnographic and spatial analyses, multi-agent simulations, and comparative studies have shown that this system is efficient, equitable, and resilient. There are indications that other social-ecological systems, notably fisheries and foraging societies, also have property regimes that work as complex adaptive systems. The research team seminar will bring together scholars of different social-ecological systems to explore the similarities and differences across these cases and develop a general theoretical model that helps us understand what makes them more or less resilient.