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Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions) unknown Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In her book, Ostrom takes an ethnographic approach to studying the management and mismanagement of CPRs. The key question for managing such commons is sustainability. Without some kind of enforceable agreement among those who would harvest a CPR, the resource will rapidly be depleted and possibly destroyed. Ostrom argues that good collective management can arise naturally from communities of people with a mutual interest in the sustainability of commons. In a series of detailed case studies, she lays out conditions ("design principles") that seem to allow -- or prevent -- the good governance of the CPR in question.
Once you've seen these design principles, they seem to pop up everywhere. "Congruence between appropriation and provision rules and local conditions" sounds a lot like the idea of local adaptation in the diffusion of innovations literature. "Monitoring" sounds like the role middle managers play in corporations. "Minimal rights to organize" sounds like the First Amendment.
Overall, Ostrom's book is an open-ended classic. It provides a great description of common pool resources through the lens of ethnographic case studies, plus a framework for looking at CPR problems in general. Ostrom never advances of specific theory of governance. Instead, she lays out many interesting and suggestive examples and principles.Read more ›
The first section of the book examines both state-controlled and privatization property rights regimes, and illustrates failures in both regimes; namely, that central authorities often fail to have complete accuracy of information, have only limited monitoring capabilities, and possess a weak sanctioning reliability. As such, a centralized governing body may actually govern the commons inaccurately and make a bad situation worse. In the case of privatized property rights regimes, Ostrom illustrates two main points: 1) it assumes that property is homogenous and any division of property will be equitable; and 2) privatization will not work with non-stationary property (fisheries, for example).
After discussing the state-controlled and privatization property rights regimes, Ostrom attempts examine the causes of successful CPR governance, and the catalysts which lead to failure. Being part of the "new institutionalist" school, Ostrom seeks to examine the rules, structures, and frameworks within the various CPR governance structures. Ostrom has discovered a number of "design principles" within the successful CPR governance cases.Read more ›
Ostrom recognizes that common property management regimes do not always work. Indeed, the seem to fail as often as they succeed. To explain why this is the case, and to help predict the likelihood of success or failure, Ostrom develops an elaborate and very useful model of common property success/failure. In the 15 years since she published "Governing the Commons," that model has not been significantly improved by other scholars. Her book remains as current and important today, as it was when she first published it in 1990. It is required reading for all social scientists, indeed anyone, interested in resource conservation and property systems.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While Ostrom's work is by no means the only approach to governing the commons, at this point all those who care about environmental issues should, at a minimum, be knowledgeable... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Strong
Easy to read and an excellent introduction to the problems of community pooled resources. Focuses on smaller populations, develops a framework for CPR analysisPublished 5 months ago by jake nelson
This is a fantastic book that dispels a lifetime of wrong notions about common resource issues. The only puzzling thing about the book is the incredible number of typos! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Elinor Ostrom was an awesome lady! Her concepts are intriguing and once you got it, it became more understandable of what she was trying to share. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Edna N. Silva
Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel for her work on common-pool resources, so this book represents Economics orthodoxy on the topic.
It does not disappoint. Read more
Providing alternative views to the anticipated self-interest and 'winner takes all' perspectives, this book should be compulsory reading for all business, politicians, political... Read morePublished on June 26, 2014 by Melba
I read this book shortly after I had read Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance (Spectre) and my first impression is that the book should be re-issued in 2015, a... Read morePublished on May 27, 2014 by Robert David STEELE Vivas
This book is about sharing resources without using them up, something that our world needs to learn a lot more about before it is too late.Published on November 19, 2013 by Brian G Jacobs