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  • © 2019

Global Perspectives on Long Term Community Resource Management

  • Uses an interdisciplinary approach linking archaeology and anthropology with human ecology and environmental sciences

  • Studies the commons in both synchronic and diachronic scales

  • Offers insights from evolutionary biology, political science, economics, anthropology, and other fields to explain how the interactions between our evolved selves and the institutional structures we have created make cooperation possible

Part of the book series: Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation (STHE, volume 11)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-15800-2
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Softcover Book USD 109.99
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Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    • Ludomir R. Lozny, Thomas H. McGovern
    Pages 1-8
  3. Who Is in the Commons: Defining Community, Commons, and Time in Long-Term Natural Resource Management

    • Michael R. Dove, Amy Johnson, Manon Lefebvre, Paul Burow, Wen Zhou, Lav Kanoi
    Pages 23-40
  4. Managing Risk Through Cooperation: Need-Based Transfers and Risk Pooling Among the Societies of the Human Generosity Project

    • Lee Cronk, Colette Berbesque, Thomas Conte, Matthew Gervais, Padmini Iyer, Brighid McCarthy et al.
    Pages 41-75
  5. Trolls, Water, Time, and Community: Resource Management in the Mývatn District of Northeast Iceland

    • Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttir, Anthony J. Newton, Megan T. Hicks, Andrew J. Dugmore, Viðar Hreinsson, A. E. J. Ogilvie et al.
    Pages 77-101
  6. Large-Scale Land Acquisition as Commons Grabbing: A Comparative Analysis of Six African Case Studies

    • Tobias Haller, Timothy Adams, Desirée Gmür, Fabian Käser, Kristina Lanz, Franziska Marfurt et al.
    Pages 125-164
  7. Open Access, Open Systems: Pastoral Resource Management in the Chad Basin

    • Mark Moritz, Paul Scholte, Ian M. Hamilton, Saïdou Kari
    Pages 165-187
  8. Environment and Landscapes of Latin America’s Past

    • Vernon L. Scarborough, Christian Isendahl, Samantha Fladd
    Pages 213-234
  9. Back Matter

    Pages 307-309

About this book

Communal-level resource management successes and failures comprise complex interactions that involve local, regional, and (increasingly) global scale political, economic, and environmental changes, shown to have recurring patterns and trajectories. The human past provides examples of long-term millennial and century-scale successes followed by undesired transitions (“collapse”), and rapid failure of collaborative management cooperation on the decadal scale. Management of scarce resources and common properties presents a critical challenge for planners attempting to avoid the "tragedy of the commons" in this century. Here, anthropologists, human ecologists, archaeologists, and environmental scientists discuss strategies for social well-being in the context of diminishing resources and increasing competition.

The contributors in this volume revisit “tragedy of the commons” (also referred to as “drama” or “comedy” of the commons) and examine new data and theories to mitigate pressures and devise models for sustainable communal welfare and development. They present twelve archaeological, historic, and ethnographic cases of user-managed resources to demonstrate that very basic community-level participatory governance can be a successful strategy to manage short-term risk and benefits. The book connects past-present-future by presenting geographically and chronologically spaced out examples of communal-level governance strategies, and overviews of the current cutting-edge research. The lesson we learn from studying past responses to various ecological stresses is that we must not wait for a disaster to happen to react, but must react to mitigate conditions for emerging disasters. 


  • management of commons and communal use of wild resources
  • communal governance and subsistence risk
  • development of property rights and scarcity of resources
  • participatory polycentric governance
  • successes and failures in communal resource management
  • Pastoral Systems at Multiple Spatiotemporal Scales


“The papers in this volume reflect how the concept of ‘commons’ is re-emerging in many parts of the world as a cross-disciplinary way of integrating heritage management. All in all, this represents an uplifting read that presents positive solutions to resource management in the future.” (Antiquity, Vol. 94, 2020)

“This volume provides a valuable and welcome contribution to international efforts to rethink local and global forms of collective action and the governance of natural resources, and will be of interest to a range of scholars and graduate students but also political and business officials.” (Ismael Vaccaro, Human Ecology, Vol. 48, 2020)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Hunter College, CUNY, New York, USA

    Ludomir R. Lozny, Thomas H. McGovern

About the editors

Ludomir Lozny is an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College, CUNY and principle investigator in culture resource management and environmental impact studies, with 30 years of experience in academic teaching and research.  Lozny’s fieldwork is primarily in North America and Europe. His research comprises interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches and areas of expertise include archaeology, social anthropology, complex societies, social theory and methodology, sustainability, governance and management of the commons, and human and historical ecology in global perspective. He is Managing Editor of the journal Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal and coeditor of two book series, Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation and Springer Briefs in Human Ecology (with Daniel Bates), for Springer Nature. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Human Ecodynamics Research Center (HERC) at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

Tom McGovern is a professor with 39 years of teaching experience at the City University of New York. He coordinates the international, interdisciplinary research and education cooperative North Atlantic Biocultural Organization, and collaborates with the Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE) teams, the Oceans Past Initiative, and the Humanities for Environment Circumpolar Observatory project. McGovern’s fieldwork centers on the North Atlantic islands (Faroes, Shetland, Orkney, Iceland, Greenland) and he has coordinated multi-investigator interdisciplinary projects bringing together hard science, social science, environmental humanities, local and traditional knowledge and education for sustainability scholars, and perspectives to engage with millennial scale human ecodynamics in this historically and environmentally critical region. He also currently serves as PI for an NSF project in Greenland.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Global Perspectives on Long Term Community Resource Management

  • Editors: Ludomir R. Lozny, Thomas H. McGovern

  • Series Title: Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-15799-9

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-15802-6

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-15800-2

  • Series ISSN: 1574-0501

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 309

  • Number of Illustrations: 15 b/w illustrations, 38 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Anthropology, Archaeology

Buying options

eBook USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-15800-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)