Show Less

Institutional Change for Sustainable Development

Robin Connor and Stephen Dovers

Institutional Change for Sustainable Development presents a flexible, accessible, yet robust conceptual framework for comprehending institutional dimensions of sustainability, emphasising the complexity of institutional systems, and highlighting the interdependence between policy learning and institutional change. This framework is applied and developed through the analysis of five significant arenas of institutional and policy change: environmental policy in the EU; New Zealand’s landmark Resource Management Act; strategic environmental assessment; emerging National Councils for Sustainable Development; and transformative property rights instruments. From these explorations, key principles for institutional change are identified, including the institutional accommodation of a sustainability discourse, the interdependence of normative and institutional change; reiteration and learning; integration in policy and practice; subsidiarity; and legal change.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 7: Property Rights Instruments: Transformative Policy Options

Robin Connor and Stephen Dovers


INTRODUCTION Over the past two decades, coincident with the rise of the sustainability discourse, the application of property rights instruments (PRIs) to natural resource management has been advocated as a means to efficiently allocate scarce resources. PRIs here refer to entitlements to resource use that have been endowed with characteristics of property interests, such as the ability to trade them in a market and capture changes in their value. Often these are quantified entitlements. Such instruments have been implemented for the control of sulphur emissions from fossil fuel burning power stations, in controlling discharges into rivers affecting water quality, for the allocation of water abstraction, and most notably in marine fisheries management. Such policy instruments have been proposed in other areas, including carbon emissions and sequestration, and biodiversity conservation. Although often characterized as just another tool in the policy toolbox, this chapter argues that, in many cases, PRIs involve a fundamental change in distributional logic and in the culture of resource use. Property rights are a fundamental component of a society’s institutional systems. They arise and are conditioned by rules in constitutional documents, statute law and the doctrines and precedence of Common Law. Informal rules – social norms – also sanction property rights. Property rights provide the backbone of incentive structures that reduce uncertainty about the behaviour of others and make higher levels of coordination and social organization possible. Property rights are so basic to natural resource use as to be inherent where they are not specified, in the sense that the...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.