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The Capacity of Property Rights to Accommodate Social-Ecological Resilience

Richard A Barnes, University of Hull


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Here, I consider how social-ecological resilience can be facilitated by the use of property rights. Taking a legal perspective on the use of different forms of property, I consider how property rules can manifest the attributes of flexibility, responsiveness, optionality, and scalability associated with resilient systems. I note how different regulatory regimes such as domestic law and international law have differing capacities to accommodate property rights, and this in turn affects the capability of property to sustain resilience. The fluid nature of resilience and property systems defies simple conclusions about the influence of property rights on resilience. However, it is possible to make some general observations on how well-suited archetype forms of property such as private property and community-based holdings might be for regulating certain resources.

Key words

community-based holdings; domestic law; environmental law; EU law; international law; natural resources; private property; property; resilience

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087