The Policy Laboratory for Institutional Regimes for Sustainable Resource Development (Polirsurd)


Project C1-10


This three-year project proposes to support excellent doctoral candidates during the preparatory phase of their research projects (doctoral scholarship) and during the first two years of the development of their doctoral theses. These (about 12 – 15) thesis supervised by the applicants and other interested colleagues from Swiss and foreign universities, will share a common conceptual approach which is both actor- and resource-centred and draws on numerous studies dedicated to natural and manmade resources. Its' main inputs consist of transferring empirically consolidated regulatory knowledge on one well known group of resources (e. g. water, soils and land, air) to other newly emerging natural (like climate, genome, underground, wind, etc.) or manmade (like knowledge, information clouds, product labels, social networks) resources in terms of their geographical, physical and social definitions, their reproduction mechanisms, their reproductive stocks, the goods and services they provide, the related user-actors, their (actual and future) use-rights and the solution of potential use rivalries in a way that their reproduction capacity can be guaranteed in the present and in the future. This innovative conceptual approach is increasingly recognised by the national and international scientific community associated with institutional conditions for sustainable development.
Contrary to the mainstream concept of sustainable development (based on a somehow arbitrary triangulation between environmental, economic and social goals and indicators) the applicants consider sustainable development as metabolic processes which shall guarantee the (self) reproduction capacity of all concerned resources (belonging to natural, manmade, human and social capitals) for the future generations and a fair distribution of use rights to goods and/or services amongst present and future user-actors (intra and intergenerational equity).

Project leader
Prof. Stéphane Nahrath
University of Lausanne
Institut d'Etudes Politiques et Internationales (IEPI)

Involved universities
University of Lausanne
University of Geneva
University of Bern

Project duration

1.1.2014 - 31.12.2016


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U Change
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