Checking date: 06/06/2022

Course: 2023/2024

Governing the Global Commons
Master in Global Sustainable Development and Global Governance (Plan: 473 - Estudio: 376)

Coordinating teacher: OZEL SERBETÇI, ISIK

Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


- familiarise students with the main concepts (governance, global commons etc.) - ability to study and analyse global commons governance - acquire knowledge and understanding of common issues around global commons and possible solutions - learning about a variety of different global commons and their problems including actors, institutions, power relationships and knowledge - linking the issues and applying the knowledge of global commons to wider sustainability issues and climate change - applying knowledge to potential solutions for global commons issues - acquiring applied knowledge of a variety of global commons such as water, biodiversity, oceans etc. - learning and applying a new method (scenario planning) to study the possible outcomes of global commons governance
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
1. Why ¿governance¿ and not ¿government¿? The rise of governance as means to manage, control or regulate global commons. 2. Identification of global commons and ¿the tragedy of the commons¿. The challenges of collective action in their governance analysis of fragmented initiatives on climate change and sustainability. 3. Theories of collective action and their applications in the governance of the global commons; design of effective institutions, comparison of different approaches to resource allocation, including markets, governments and communities, and examining the shifting roles of the public and private sectors in the context of local and global examples. 4. Institutions and models of collaboration regarding the governance of transboundary resources (water, ocean and fisheries, biodiversity, mineral resources); climate change and biodiversity preservation; varying designs and their effectiveness. 5. The phenomenon of ¿complex governance¿ that involves international organisations, supranational institutions, transnational networks, public-private partnerships and private governance agreements to address the global challenges of sustainability, coordination problems; resources and capacities of different actors at different levels. 6. Effectiveness, compliance, accountability, legitimacy, impact and future perspectives of governance models. Conflicts and their possible resolutions. 7. Ongoing and prospective transformations in global governance triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis. Discussion of the Anthropocene as a useful concept for the governance of commons.
Learning activities and methodology
This course consists of lectures and a number of different student-led class activities (discussions, small group work, scenario planning exercise, presentations) This is to promote active participation, critical thinking and reflection. Case studies and examples will be presented and discussed not just for their content but also for their methodology used. It is recommended students read the suggested reading for each session in order to profit from each session. -Lectures -Practical sessions -Tutorials -Team assignments -Individual assignments
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60
Basic Bibliography
  • Bache, Ian, and Matthew Flinders, eds. . Multi-Level Governance. Multi-Level Governance. . Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004
  • Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons. The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action.. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1990
  • Young, Oran R. . The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change. Fit, Interplay, and Scale. Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation. the MIT Press. 2002
Additional Bibliography
  • Kenneth W Abbott, Duncan J Snidal (eds). The Spectrum of International Institutions An Interdisciplinary Collaboration on Global Governance. Routledge. 2021

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.