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Governing the Commons

Governing the Commons
The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action


Part of Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions

  • Date Published: March 1991
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521405997

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • The governance of natural resources used by many individuals in common is an issue of increasing concern to policy analysts. Both state control and privatisation of resources have been advocated, but neither the state nor the market have been uniformly successful in solving common pool resource problems. Offering a critique of the foundations of policy analysis as applied to natural resources, Elinor Ostrom here provides a unique body of empirical data to explore conditions under which common pool resource problems have been satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily solved. Dr Ostrom first describes three models most frequently used as the foundation for recommending state or market solutions. She then outlines theoretical and empirical alternatives to these models in order to illustrate the diversity of possible solutions. In the following chapters she uses institutional analysis to examine different ways - both successful and unsuccessful - of governing the commons. In contrast to the proposition of the tragedy of the commons argument, common pool problems sometimes are solved by voluntary organisations rather than by a coercive state. Among the cases considered are communal tenure in meadows and forests, irrigation communities and other water rights, and fisheries.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521405997
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 149 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.404kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 6 tables
  • Table of Contents

    Series editors
    1. Reflections on the commons
    2. An institutional approach to the study of self-organization and self-governance in CPR situations
    3. Analyzing long-enduring, self-organized and self-governed CPRs
    4. Analyzing institutional change
    5. Analyzing institutional failures and fragilities
    6. A framework for analysis of self-organizing and self-governing CPRs

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • 21st Century Global Governance
    • Challenges of Collective Action
    • Comparative Theory and Method
    • Conservation in Inhabited Landscapes
    • Cooperation and Competition
    • Core concepts in public policy
    • Cultures, Economies, and Environmental Governance
    • Designing Politics
    • Environmental Dispute Resolution
    • Institutional Analysis
    • Institutional Foundations of Sustainability
    • Issues in Economic Development
    • Local Environmental Management
    • Local and Environmental Governance
    • Logic of Collective Choice
    • Political Economy of Institutions
    • Political Exposure
    • Political Institutions and Public Policy
    • Public Policy Analysis
    • The State, Society, and Individual
    • Why Cooperate?
  • Author

    Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University

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