The following list displays the most recently added publications at the top.

CIRCA and Sustainability: The World's Largest Jewelry Buying Corporation

This case provides a detailed description of a company that buys pre-owned fine jewelry from the public and places it back into market circulation. The case describes the founding and evolution of CIRCA’s business model and discusses the company’s working culture, organizational structure, and methods of distinguishing itself from the competition. The company has requested that the full case be only made available to faculty / trainers for class-use. Please email to get a copy sent to you with this proviso.

Managing Fish Quotas between Canada and the United States

This case study, authored by Melissa Haeffner tells the story of inter-boundary natural resource management in the Lake Erie (Canada-United States) region facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. As an advisor, you have been called upon to propose mechanisms for building adaptive capacity. Download teaching case here.

Special thanks to Professor Ellen Marsden and Professor Donna Parrish for their critical review of this case. A teaching note is also available for class usage by contacting

Botswana's lessons for mineral policy frameworks

Click here to download report:  Many developing economies have been receiving increasingly significant amounts of foreign direct investment in mining over the past two decades. As mining expands in these new mineral economies, this sector has become a significant source of social and political conflict. New mineral economies must implement savvy policies that preempt and mitigate the challenges of mineral-led economic development. This essay is divided into three principal sections. The first compiles and reviews the key social scientific literature regarding the economic, political and social problems associated with mineral-led development strategies. The second section draws from the case of...

The Minerals Management Service

This case study, authored exclusively for IEDS through our internship program, by James Mulligan, tells the story of offshore oil regulation by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) leading up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It is late May 2010. As an advisor to Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, you have been called upon to propose and frame reform initiatives that meet the problem and political environment at hand...... Case is ideal for environmental management courses in various professional settings. A teaching note is also available by contacting Download full case study here

Afghanistan's Mineral Fortune: Multinational influence and development in a post-war economy

This paper examines the rich mineral and energy resources of Afghanistan, and argues that resource extraction by multinational interests need not be a source of conflict.  Rather, extraction can be an opportunity to foster lasting cooperation and to build peace.  Historical cases are used for analysis and comparison to current projects, including a copper mine and a natural gas pipeline. Many lessons can be gleaned from these cases, and the authors conclude with policy recommendations to move these projects forward efficently and equitably, and to take full advantage of opportunities for development and regional cooperation. To access this paper, please click here. 

Fences, Walls and Borders: State of Insecurity? Conference report by Anna Grichting

Co-Organized by the Raoul Danduran Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies of the University of Quebec in Montreal and the Association for Borderland Studies (ABS) the conference on “Walls, Borders, Fences: States of Insecurity” opened with the question? “Do good fences still make good neighbors”? Download full report here

Science and Spatial Security: Building Peace Through Environmental Conservation in Southeastern Europe

Written by IEDS Director Dr. Saleem Ali and Dr. Mary Watzin, Dean of the RSENR at UVM, "Spatial Security" is a transdisciplinary paper addressing linked issues of security and environmental management in the Balkans. The fall of the iron curtain led to a redefinition of borders and a realignment of security in spatial terms. Within this region, the trans- boundary politics surrounding Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa in the Balkan peninsula were examined to see how natural resource scarcity, environmental impairment, and environmental security interact. This article suggests that even in highly acrimonious post-conflict settings, there is clear potential for ecological cooperation.

Transitioning Land Tenure in Scotland: A Comparative Study of Public, Private and Community Arrangements

Land tenure arrangements have been the focus of many struggles to achieve sustainable development in rural communities and are often at the core of contemporary politics in developing countries. Scotland provides an unusual contemporary case of transition from a feudal aristocracy to a more equitable land-use and ownership regimen in a developed country. The findings of the study show that a creative combination of ownership and/or management regimes, rather than either private or public ownership, is most effective. Further research could analyze these cases over time to draw quantitative comparisons to help other communities in transition.

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Environmental Stewardship in Gemstone Mining: Quo Vadis?

Gemstones and the environment share an intrinsic relationship. Gemstones themselves are a product of temporary geological conditions and environments. They can be found on earth’s seven continents. They can be found in primary or secondary deposits, at the bottom of seas and on the top of mountains. The combinations of magmatism, metamorphism, and sedimentation have given us the treasures that we, for millennia, have valued as gems.

This publication in a leading industry journal, InColor, by IEDS Scholar Laurent Cartier considers ways of improving social and environmental resposibility in the colored gemstone sector.

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Evaluating the Effects of Ideology on Public Understanding of Climate Change Science: How to Improve Communication Across Ideological Divides?

While ideology can have a strong effect on citizen understanding of science, it is unclear how ideology interacts with other complicating factors.  The focus of this paper by Dr. Asim Zia and Dr. Anne Marie Todd is public understanding of climate change science, and data is drawn from a survey undertaken in California to test the effects of ideology and other socio-demographic variables on citizen concern about global warming, terrorism, the economy, health care and poverty.