nl en

Foundations of Common Pool Resource Management




Admissions requirements



Content: Common pool resources (CPR) are shared among people who may not agree on how to manage them. Those disagreements underlie the many, harmful examples of CPR challenges that we face today, e.g., climate change, depletion of open-water fisheries, local air and water pollution, failures in public provision of education, health and/or transportation, and public and national security.

Students in this 100-level course will explore different management paradigms, successes and failures in managing CPRs using case studies, theoretical readings, experiments and in-class exercises. (You are not expected to know anything about these topics before starting the class.) A major component of this class – the group project – will give students hands-on experience in understanding and addressing a CPR challenge.

Themes: Sustainability, politics, individual and group behavior, incentives, institutions

Course objectives


  • Have experience in tackling a real world CPR challenge.

  • Have extended experience in working within a group charged with delivering results.


  • Be able to explain CPR challenges in terms of causes, impacts and potential responses.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars. Students will be expected to participate in both large and small group discussions; present and defend their ideas within an academic setting; and take part in group projects. The instructor will facilitate and ensure the efficient running of the discussion, but students are responsible for its quality.


Class participation: 15% (continuous weeks 1-7)
Homework quizzes and/or reading assignments: 35% (due weeks 2-6)
Individual contribution to group presentation: 15% (due week 7)
Individual contribution to group report: 35% (due reading week)

NB: Group projects are an important part of this class. Individual grades on group work will be assessed by the instructor.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Ostrom, Gardner and Walker (1994). Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources. Ann Arbor Books


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


David Zetland (
Leiden University College, Room 4.37