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Governing the Commons


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Table of Contents

Preface; 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; Notes; References; Index.

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Tackles one of the most enduring and contentious issues of positive political economy: common pool resource management.


'In this ambitious, provocative, and very useful book, Ostrom combines a lucid theoretical framework with a series of diverse and richly detailed case studies ... she tightly reviews and critiques extant models of cooperation and collective action and argues powerfully that communities of actors are sometimes able to maintain a common resource for long periods of time without outside intervention.' Contemporary Sociology
'Ostrom's book is an important contribution to the problems of common property resources, that is, the lack of well-defined property rights over a certain resource. Elinor Ostrom convincingly shows that there are many different viable mixtures between public and private, in particular self-organization and self-governance by the users of the common property resource. The book makes fascinating reading, particularly as it is well written.' Bruno S. Frey, Kyklos
'Students of common property resource regimes will find much of great interest in the volume.' Barry C. Field, Land Economics
'A classic by one of the best-known thinkers on communities and commons.' Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures
'... timely, well-written, and a useful addition to our understanding of the challenges of natural resource management ... useful for undergraduate and graduate students as well as field practitioners interested in the development of scientifically based research. It provides a firm grounding in the theoretical underpinnings that should guide empirical investigations ... Ostrom offers a unique source of information on the realities of resource management institutions coupled with the challenge for continued examination of institutions on order to develop better ways to address the CPR challenge.' Gordon L. Brady, Southern Economic Journal
'This is the most influential book in the last decade on thinking about the commons. For those involved with small communities ... located in one nation, whose lives depend on a common pool of renewable resources ... Governing the Commons has been the intellectual field guide.' Whole Earth

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