Synthesizing research on pastoral governance of common-pool resources
Communities of mobile livestock keepers—pastoralists—often have systems for the governance and management of land and resources that do not conform to theoretical models that have been developed based on experience in other kinds of ecosystems. Because of the unique characteristics of pastoralist systems, well-intentioned efforts to strengthen communal property rights can have the unintended consequence of undermining the mobility, flexibility and adaptability that are essential features of these systems. Recent scholarship, however, suggests that we may be close to a robust theoretical explanation for the distinctive characteristics of these pastoralist governance systems. Nevertheless, loose ends persist, and the work is yet to be synthesized into a coherent, cross-cutting understanding. This workshop will synthesize the latest scientific research to develop a conceptual model of pastoralist land and resource governance. The conceptual model will be explored and validated using comparison of diverse cases of pastoralist governance systems, past and present, and through computer modeling simulations. The workshop will explore the practical implications of the synthesis and translate the findings into specific policy recommendations.