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Unruly ComplexityEcology, Interpretation, Engagement$
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Peter J. Taylor

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226790350

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226790398.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Reasoned Understandings and Social Change in Research on Common Resources: Introducing a Framework to Keep Tensions Active, Productive, and Ever-present

Reasoned Understandings and Social Change in Research on Common Resources: Introducing a Framework to Keep Tensions Active, Productive, and Ever-present

Chapter:
(p.167) 6 Reasoned Understandings and Social Change in Research on Common Resources: Introducing a Framework to Keep Tensions Active, Productive, and Ever-present
Source:
Unruly Complexity
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226790398.003.0006

Garrett Hardin's idea of the “tragedy of the commons” is widely invoked in the discussions of conservation and natural resource management. Many teachers of environmental studies use classroom simulations to introduce students to the “tragedy of the commons” and its implications. This chapter describes an activity in which students are asked to take the role of herders who are all given the same initial amount of cattle and cash. Each year they have an opportunity to buy cows and receive income from the sale of milk and excess calves. Everyone's purchases are summed up and a formula is used in the chapter to calculate a figure for the income per cow during the year from milk and calves. In this formula, the income declines once the combined herd on the common pasture exceeds some threshold, and the pasture becomes overgrazed.

Keywords:   Garrett Hardin, pasture, natural resource management, herders

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