The Practice of Constitutional Development: Vincent Ostrom's Quest to Understand Human Affairs

The Practice of Constitutional Development: Vincent Ostrom's Quest to Understand Human Affairs


Edited by Filippo Sabetti, Edited by Barbara Allen, Edited by Mark Sproule-Jones, Contributions by William Blomquist, Contributions by Donald Lutz, Contributions by Ronald J. Oakerson, Contributions by Vincent Ostrom, Contributions by Roger B. Parks, Contributions by Filippo Sabetti, Contributions by Audun Sandberg

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  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 23mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 16 December 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739126326
  • ISBN 13: 9780739126325
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, black & white tables

Product description

This edited collection further expands our knowledge about what comprises a successful constitution in both theory and application. Building on the research and analysis of Vincent Ostrom, who as one of America's leading scholars on constitutions has spent a lifetime writing about constitutions in America and overseas. Each essay shows how particular countries, governments, and organizations devise constitutions to reflect their visions of governance and sets of rules for their leaders. On a higher theoretical level, the contributors emphasize the importance of choosing the rules of the political game in order to determine the nature of the game itself. Extending Ostrom's intellectual quest to solve constitutional dilemmas, the scholars gathered here discuss a wide variety of issues, ranging from the problems of water scarcity and local public economies in Africa to the prospect of a new political order in the European North.

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Author information

Barbara Allen is professor, former chair of the Department of Political Science, and former Director of Women's Studies at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. Filippo Sabetti is professor of political science at McGill University. Mark Sproule-Jones is V.K. Copps Professor of political science at McMaster University in Canada.

Review quote

Twelve papers, originally presented at a conference held in honor of Vincent Ostrom at Indiana University in June 2006, explore Ostrom's intellectual contributions to the study of politics and community living. Journal of Economic Literature, December 2009 (Vol. 47, no. 4) Vincent Ostrom repeatedly provides the intellectual foundation and experience-based judgment to give governance practiioners useful insights on a range of institutional and economic concerns, from water allocation to the organization of municipal services. As someone who works at the brushfire level, Ostrom's work forces me to stand back and ask the basic questions identified within this work when approaching an institution's capacity and performance -- Otto Doering, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Table of contents

1 Contents 2 Preface Part 3 I. Introduction Chapter 4 1. Institutions as Human Artifacts Part 5 II. Selected Writings of Vincent Ostrom Chapter 6 2. Constitutional Level of Analysis: Problems and Prospects Chapter 7 3. Federalism, Polycentricity, and Res Publica: Some Reflections on the American Experiments in Republican Government Chapter 8 4. Beyond Public Choice Part 9 III. New Directions in the Development of Natural Resources Chapter 10 5. Experience Guides Theory: "Discovering" the Political Theory of a Compound Republic Chapter 11 6. Crafting Water Constitutions in California Chapter 12 7. Constitutional Choice and Water Governance in the Western United States Chapter 13 8. Public Administration: An Intellectual Crisis or a New Direction? Part 14 IV. New Directions in Local and Regional Governance Chapter 15 9. Local Public Economies and Metropolitan Governance: A Research Program Retrospective Chapter 16 10. Metropolitan Organization and Police Chapter 17 11. Sources of Order and Disorder in Africa: Local Governance in Statecentric Regimes Chapter 18 12. Constituting a New Order in the European North 19 Index 20 About the Contributors