Introduction to Ostrom's Tensions: Examining the Political Economy and Public Policy of Elinor C. Ostrom (book)

20 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2021

See all articles by Bobbi Herzberg

Bobbi Herzberg

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Paul Dragos Aligica

George Mason University

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Elinor Ostrom (1933–2012) influenced fields ranging from institutional analysis to metropolitan service delivery, from federalism and theories of polycentric orders to common-pool resource management and sustainable development. Her seminal book, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (1990), put forward new approaches to institutional economics that would shape scholarship across multiple fields. In 2009, Ostrom was named co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, along with Oliver E. Williamson, with particular recognition for her path-breaking work on institutions organized to address common-pool resource settings.

This new collection of essays illuminates important aspects of Ostrom's contributions and how they shape our understanding of institutions, constitutions, and the prospects for self-governance and also identify critical tensions that remain to be studied. The theoretical tensions considered range from issues of the cohesiveness of the research program to its comparison with well-accepted theoretical approaches to the evaluation of those specific, unresolved theoretical puzzles posed by the underlying assumptions in the Ostroms’ scholarship. Together, they offer a sample of today’s wide range of interpretive and critical engagement with the Ostroms’ intellectual legacy.

This chapter provides an introduction to the volume and an overview of Ostrom's important work.

Keywords: Elinor Ostrom, Nobel prize, political economy, institutions, polycentricity, Institutional Analysis, Polycentric Governance, IAD Framework, commons

JEL Classification: Q00, Q20, B52, D02, E14, P16

Suggested Citation

Herzberg, Bobbi and Boettke, Peter J. and Aligica, Paul Dragos, Introduction to Ostrom's Tensions: Examining the Political Economy and Public Policy of Elinor C. Ostrom (book) (2019). published in Herzberg, Roberta Q., Peter J. Boettke, and Paul Dragos Aligica, eds. Ostrom's Tensions: Examining the Political Economy and Public Policy of Elinor C. Ostrom (Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2019), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3762608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3762608

Bobbi Herzberg (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/bobbi-herzberg

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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703-993-1149 (Phone)
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Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

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Paul Dragos Aligica

George Mason University

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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