Erling Berge

Erling Berge
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) · Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (ILP)

Ph.D. (sociology)

About

78
Publications
21,003
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399
Citations
Citations since 2017
4 Research Items
182 Citations
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Introduction
Prof. Dr. Erling Berge became professor of property rights institutions at NMBU in 2011. During 2002-2004 he served as president for the International Association for the Study of Commons, and in 2004 together with Tine de Moor he started the International Journal of the Commons. Berge received his Ph.D. (sociology) from Boston University in 1981, and became professor of sociology (methods) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1994.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - March 2016
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Teaching research methods and institutional theory
May 1995 - December 2010
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • teaching research methods; research on the commons
August 1971 - July 1975
Statistisk sentralbyrå
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Studies of regional variation of fertility and how to model this in the population projections. Both my MA thesis (1973) and Ph. D. dissertation were based on this.

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
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The southeast arm of Lake Malawi catchment has a wide range of natural resources that require prudent management for sustainability and maximisation of benefits. The current management practice is government sector based, with individual Departments and Ministries using their own policies, legislations and management approaches, yet dealing with th...
Article
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Renting of farm land has increased rapidly in Norway and is involving close to 45 percent of the agricultural area currently in use. This development is a combined result of technological changes, economic transformations, agricultural policies, and legal regulations. Technological and market forces tend to push a development towards fewer, bigger,...
Book
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Boka handlar om eigedomshistoria i Noreg i eit rettsleg perspektiv. Temaet er eigedomsrettar frå 1600-talet fram til notida. Forfattaren viser blant anna at kva som vert rekna som eigedom og kva konsekvensar det har å vere rekna som eigar, varierer over tid og etter kva stad ein studerer. Hans Sevatdal gjekk bort den 12. september 2015, 75 år gamal...
Working Paper
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Article
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The editorial discusses the status and prospects of the commons of developed industrialized countries, based on the literature. For the traditional commons, one key variable for long-term development prospects of the commons is found in the way ownership to the commons is structured. A second key variable is the way increasing knowledge, including...
Article
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More than 200 years after the King sold one of the “King’s commons” to urban timber merchants, local people in some ways still behave as if the area is a kind of commons. The paper outlines the history of the transformation of the area from an 18th century King’s commons to a 21st century battleground for ideas about ancient access and use rights o...
Article
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Based on government statistics and interviews with villagers across Malawi this article argues that customary matrilineal and patrilineal land tenure systems serve to weaken security of land tenure for some family members as well as obstructing the creation of gender-neutral inheritance of lands. Data from the National Census of Agriculture and Liv...
Article
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After a brief survey of the concept of political culture and a theoretical discussion of how it may impact the NFPs it is concluded that its fate will depend on whether economic interests, political power structures, and competencies and resource endowments of bureaucracies are strengthened or threatened in conjunction with the degree of support fo...
Article
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http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/article/view/325/232
Article
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See http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/issue/view/19
Article
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"Things owned in common--or jointly--as the case may be, abound. They abound today as they did in earlier times, in urban as well as in rural settings, and in high tech artifacts like Wikipedia as well as in traditional symbols. Usually such commonly held goods do not create any noteworthy problems for those who share an interest in them. But in so...
Article
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See: http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/issue/view/17
Article
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Commercial utilization of inland fish resources can constitute an important addition to other economic activities in rural communities. Based on a case study of commercial whitefish fishery in Lake Femund, a mountain lake in southeastern Norway, this article outlines experience gained and indicates some of the general problems related to this type...
Article
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"IASC is a remarkable association in many ways. Pioneering a new area of cross-disciplinary research, it has deliberated over and realigned its mandate better to serve its core interests and goals. It continues to organise some memorable international and regional conferences. It has consistently broadened and diversified its membership base. And,...
Article
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The modern, largely academic and urban-initiated concern with the environmental protection of landscapes, species, watersheds, biodiversity, ecosystem services, etc. is framed by a language suggesting that the main concern is the protection and preservation of precarious resources of common interest for mankind. Thus the values deserving the attent...
Article
Commercial utilization of inland fish resources can constitute an important addition to other economic activities in rural communities. Based on a case study of commercial whitefish fishery in Lake Femund, a mountain lake in southeastern Norway, this article outlines experience gained and indicates some of the general problems related to this type...
Article
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"As the common land in Navarra is so extended and diverse, in the following, I will put my attention in one of these common land: Urbasa and Andia, which have been till recently, state commons. I will analyse who are the actors entitled to appropriate, what are the goods the actors appropriate, how do the actors go about appropriating and what are...
Article
"This paper attempts to bring into context historical and contemporary aspects of the institutional framework of English commons with particular reference to the upland grazing areas of the North and West which are of particular significance for sheep grazing. The context for a system based on ancient customary practice in the 21st century will be...
Article
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"It is usual to consider the environment as a common good, but we are far from having a clear definition of either of them: the environment and the common. Both vary according the scope of the analysis (world, national, regional, provincial, local), the different societies, and the diverse elements included, and so vary the social perception and ac...
Article
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"The modern and largely academic and urban initiated concern with environmental protection of landscapes, species, watersheds, biodiversity, ecosystem-services etc. are framed by a language suggesting that the main concern is the protection and preservation of precarious resources of common interests for mankind. "Thus the values deserving the atte...
Article
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"This paper concerns the way in which 'old' common property institutions cope with and respond to 'new' challenges posed by post-productivist rural change. Common property regimes were once widespread throughout much of the Western European landscape but the prevailing trend over the last few centuries has been towards their demise. The interrelate...
Article
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"The modern and largely academic and urban initiated concern with environmental protection of landscapes, species, watersheds, biodiversity, ecosystem-services etc. are framed by a language suggesting that the main concern is the protection and preservation of precarious resources of common interests for mankind. "Thus the values deserving the atte...
Article
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The paper argues that the biodiversity and sustainability measures characterizing an eco-system (such as number of species, total biomass, Shannon-Wiener's and Simpson's diversity indeces, and other measures of composition, structure and function at the community-ecosystem level) are determined by three sets of variable characteristics. One set is...
Article
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"The paper will outline the history and legal foundation of a property rights regime to natural resources in Norway called 'Bygde Commons.' It will be contrasted with a different system of 'State Commons' and with the system in Sweden."
Article
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It is argued that instead of trying to use the complex everyday concept of household, one should record the various characteristics which go into this concept. From a systems perspective nine ways of characterising households as analytical units are identified. The distinction between absolute, distributional and relational data is, together with t...
Article
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"The paper investigates the changing structure of households according to number of persons, number of children and sex and age of head-person. Definitions and their changes are discussed. Mean number of persons per household has decreased from about 3 in 1950 to about 2.5 in 1980. The proportion of one-person households has increased from about 20...
Article
"The central problem of social ecological theory is to understand how a population organizes itself in adapting to a constantly changing yet restricting environment. The 'ecological complex' (Duncan 1959) of population, organization, technology and environment are the main variables used in the studies of growth and development of social systems. A...
Article
"Few social science variables have received the amount of research and discussion which fertility has. Both time series and differentials of fertility have proved remarkably resistant to widely accepted theoretical explanations. The present work presents a theoretical explanation of the regional differentials in fertility observed in Norway in 1970...
Article
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The Hadwiger function has been recommended for the analytic graduation of fertility curves. In its original parametrization, this graduating function has some rather problematic aspects in terms of parameter identifiability and interpretability. This can be remedied by a suitable reparametrization. However, a second practical identification problem...
Article
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Introduction Since the creation of the Sámi Rights Commission in 1980 the question of ownership of the lands of the Sámi Reindeer herders have been high on the political agenda. The present paper will discuss some of the conceptual and political problems entailed by Norwegian political reality and the Sámi demand for "ownership and possession" of t...
Article
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"The document is a proceedings from a workshop 11-13 March 2003 in Oslo. It presents case studies on commons in Norway, Spain, Sweden, Scotland, and Wales (UK) along with 3 papers with more theoretical discussion of 1) characteristics of protected areas seen as a type of commons, 2) the symbolic value of commons, and 3) the problem of managing comm...
Article
"In summary, the right of public access in Sweden is in common law and can be seen as the 'free space' between various restrictions, mainly: (i) economic interests; (ii) people's privacy; (iii) preservation; and (iv) the utilisation of the landscape. For example, camping for not more than 24 hours is generally allowed, traversing any ground, lake o...
Article
"There are dramatic events taking place on North-Norwegian Coasts during this period. On the surface this appears as a surprising shift in the opinion of the coastal population in crucial questions. One such fundamental question in coastal areas has been the issue of Norwegian membership in the European Union, where the opinion is tilting from oppo...
Article
"The purpose of the paper was to give a flavour of the great land debate which has been raging in Scotland for some years, and of which the most tangible outcome so far has been the Land Reform Scotland Act. This Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament in January 2003, contains provisions permitting general public access to land, and allowing for th...
Article
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From Introduction: "This paper will look at the Norwegian Commons with the following focus: - How these ancient institutions have evolved during the last 200 years - The interests of the different stakeholders and the ensuing conflicts up to the present - How the institutions managing the commons have adapted to the changes in the Norwegian society...
Article
From p. 59: "Background: - The Savolax expansion 1400-1500 - Svidden cultivation as a general - Svidden cultivation made by forest Finns; spruce forest, slash- and burn, forest rye - Svidden 'culture': Access to land more important than ownership, using large areas - Extended expansion to Scandinavia, first Sweden, later Norway and even the colony...
Article
"In the debate on commons over the last 30 years the starting point has often been Hardin's seminal paper The Tragedy of the commons from 1968. This view has been challenged over the years, mainly within the discussion that can be labeled common-pool resources (CPR). This discussion has however focused very little on the geography of the commons. A...
Article
"This essay will argue for the necessity of combining the historical/empirical and the theoretical/institutional oriented approaches to the commons, with an approach that takes cognizance of the commons enormous symbolic importance to society as an epitome of shared abstract values and democracy. The link between these approaches to the commons lie...
Article
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"Co-management has proven effective for sustainable management of natural resources. However, contemporary research indicates that in many cases local communities of resource users have develop sophisticated systems of collaboration, not only with the State but also with numerous other actors. These experiences also show that the State is no unity...
Article
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"The paper considers the problems encountered in the political process of managing biodiversity. What does it take to change the current relations between humans and nature? Discussing this problem it is common to talk of nature and biodiversity as if human society were not part of nature. As a first cut at the problem this is permissible. But in t...
Article
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"The game of chicken is seen as a simplified model of the structure of decision making in an open access resource. The discussion starts at the point where its users realize that population pressure or some equivalent external shock has made the utilization obviously unsustainable. To escape this social trap, the appropriators have to "invent" a lo...
Article
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"Institutions governing the usage of non-arable rural lands, including forest, grasslands and shrublands in Navarre will be compared to equivalent institutions in Norway. About 47% of the land areas of Navarre are lands held in common. About one third of the surface of mainland Norway can be classified as some type of commons. If nothing else, the...
Article
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"The rates of transition between pairs of 18 types of households during the period 1974-77 are investigated for the women of the Norwegian Fertility Survey 1977. More than 80% of the women live in the 7 types of households called the main sequence of households because of its relation to a typical life course. The 7 types are single, cohabitation a...
Article
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From pages 2-3: "The question of why it is important to the Sámi people to get property rights to 'the lands which they traditionally occupy' needs to be based on an understanding of what property rights to land, or land tenure, means in a modern capitalist society as well as in a traditional customary law society. The present discussion will not b...
Article
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"The paper reviews some of the legislation relevant for the management of Norwegian nature to see if design principles suggested by Goodin can be recognized. Goodin's suggestions for the design of a 'good' institution are: --revisability - institutions ought to be revised as experiences with their working accumulate; --robustness - institutions sho...
Article
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"Security of tenure has been identified as a key variable for motivating investment in agriculture and improving food security. In discussions security of tenure is sometimes taken to mean individual freehold. This is a misunderstanding. Security of tenure can be achieved for all forms of tenure, including commons. Security of tenure is, however, c...
Article
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"The program committee has chosen the theme 'Reinventing the Commons.' Commons have existed throughout all recorded history as an integral part of the resource management of local communities. With the emergence of the modern state and the capitalist economies, the commons of local communities around the world found themselves in a loosing battle w...
Article
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"The paper argues that unintended consequence ought to be a central concept in planning theory. In particular unintended consequences for a target population of the provision of welfare goods, are considered interesting. It is argued that two insufficiently recognized sources of difficulties for the provision of welfare lie, on the one hand, in con...
Article
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From page 1: "My basic message is that commons, both as a concept and as a reality, is alive and well also in developed capitalist economies. In fact, without a sophisticated use of the particulars of institutions developed to govern the commons of Western Europe, the ability to govern the development of modern capitalist economies would be serious...
Article
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"By order in this headline is meant something opposite of chaos or anarchy. The Norwegian society is not in anarchy or chaos. A person can go about his or her business expecting other persons to follow the same rules. And if someone does break the rules there are established procedures for sanctioning. And moreover, the order in Norway is seen as a...
Article
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From the Introduction: "The invitation to this conference starts by asking 'Who owns the Arctic?' It is an important question, but how do we answer such a question. To me it seems rather difficult. I have occasionally asked the appropriate experts in Norway to answer the question 'Who owns Norway?' As yet there is no answer to the question for all...
Article
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"IASCP has completed its first conference in Latin America. It is the tenth general conference of our association. Incidentally it is also 15 years since the association was founded. As associations go we are fairly young. But among the young anniversaries are important. One way of using them is to think a bit about where we came from, where we are...
Article
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"The paper takes a special interest in the theoretical status of non-monetary factors in the determination of the price of land. The paper presents some speculation as to the nature of 'real property' and the types of values people see in it. Three other studies, one Norwegian and one from Sweden, concerning the pricing of agricultural land and woo...
Article
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"The Agricultural University of Norway has, during the past few years, been actively working with the problems of rural society as these are related to changes taking place in the Ukrainian society after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This interest is organized as a development programme called Agroventure Ukraine, which has established conta...
Article
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"The paper finds that the concepts of property rights law seem to be independent of the social science concern about divisibility of benefit and excludability from consumption. However, in the borderlands to property rights law, in human rights law and public rights to joint use of natural resources, some interesting constructs exist, like 'bygde'-...
Article
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"Availability of legal texts exemplifying the successful governance of a complex resource system as a commons is important. Those who look for ideas about how scarce resources can be utilized for the common good can find some here. Those who wonder how it is possible to govern the commons for the benefit of the poorest villagers may also find some...
Article
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"The paper presents some observations on the historical development of legal institutions for forest management in the Norwegian part of northern Fenno-Scandia, discussing the motivations shaping them and outlining the principles currently embedded in them. The emphasis is on forest commons and Norway. Some comparisons to Swedish institutions and o...
Article
"Most studies in factorial ecology use orthogonal factors. But the assumption is that this, at best can be considered a theoretically limiting case. In 'reality' factors are assumed to correlate. "Introducing a distinction between factors describing the structure of a social system and factors describing the environment of the social system, the pr...
Article
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"The present paper will use the categories developed in the English law of property to give a detailed and precise description of the property rights regimes governing the resource utilisation in the various cases of common property in timber land."
Article
"Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010. Since its appearance, the book has changed the agenda of commons research and practice. True to its title, it has sparked a search for ways to actually govern the commons--rather than simply declaring them anachronisms, for which there is no place in a world that looks...

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