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Regional Management

Prof. Dr. Johannes Hamhaber

Working Group: Natural Resources Governance and the Built Environment

„Resources are not – they become“

Natural resources obtain their societal value entirely through mankind’s demand for them. Therefore, the understanding and analysis of social and political systems utilizing the resources is a prime discipline for any resources manager. In this understanding, the governance of natural resources encompasses all forms of allocation mechanisms societies apply for the utilization of these resources and their respective benefits and costs. This distribution of resources in space and time and among differing societal groups obviously includes (spatial) planning and urban and regional mangement, but also other forms of negotiation, be it through legal institutions, in cooperative or conflictive forms of interaction, based on common or diverging value systems, among others. Applied all at different spatial and social scales, from global to local, from individuals to society at large, this approach supports a deliberate theoretical-conceptual approach rooted in social sciences while leaving the resources economics in general to the adjacent disciplines.

The natural resources governance approach emcompasses mainly three clusters, namely

  • society’s structuring of natural resources systems and the social repercussions of resources use,
  • the political science perspective of stakeholders, interests and institutional settings, and – last but not least –
  • a deliberate applied and methodological approach of (urban) planning and management.

Topically, the research centers on energy, water and shelter in the built environment; large-scale conceptual studies on multi-level governance of housing or climate change create the frame for medium scale analyses of regulatory systems and organizational forms of services provision, where at the small scale the research focuses on endogenous development and the livelihoods, social capital and vulnerabilities of communities and households.

To this end, qualitative and – to a lesser extent – quantitative social research methods are employed (interpretive policy analysis, stakeholder analysis, impact assessments, participatory research methods) that typically involve a high level of reflexivity of the researcher, according to the prevailing multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural research environment in CUAS and at its partner institutions.

PhD research

MSc research


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