Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School of Political Economy

Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School of Political Economy : Polycentricity in Public Administration and Political Science

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Elinor (Lin) Ostrom was awarded the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her pathbreaking research on "economic governance, especially the commons"; but she also made important contributions to several other fields of political economy and public policy. The range of topics she covered and the multiple methods she used might convey the mistaken impression that her body of work is disjointed and incoherent. This four-volume compendium of papers written by Lin, alone or with various coauthors (most notably including her husband and partner, Vincent), supplemented by others expanding on their work, brings together the common strands of research that serve to tie her impressive oeuvre together. That oeuvre, together with Vincent's own impressive body of work, has come to define a distinctive school of political-economic thought, the "Bloomington School." Each of the four volumes is organized around a central theme of Lin's work. Volume 1 explores the roles played by the concept polycentricity in the disciplines of public administration, political science, and other forms of political economy. Polycentricity denotes a complex system of governance in which public authorities, citizens, and private organizations work together to establish and enforce the rules that guide their behavior. It encapsulates an approach toward policy analysis that blurs standard disciplinary boundaries between the social sciences. Throughout their long and remarkably productive careers, Elinor and Vincent Ostrom never tired of reminding us of the capacity of ordinary humans to transcend their own limitations by engaging with others in the myriad forms of collective action required to build and sustain a self-governing society. Their careers stand as exemplars of the proper relationship between rigorous scholarship and responsible citizenship.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 410 pages
  • 157.48 x 220.98 x 38.1mm | 725.74g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739191004
  • 9780739191002
  • 1,483,324

About Daniel H. Cole

DANIEL H. COLE is professor of law and professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University Bloomington, where he also serves on the affiliated faculty of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. MICHAEL D. MCGINNIS is professor of political science at Indiana University Bloomington. He is a senior research fellow (and former director) of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.show more

Review quote

Cole and McGinnis have assembled some of the key works by Vincent and Elinor Ostrom on the interactions among agents and political, economic, and legal institutions to provide local public goods. Their scholarship has changed the way in which we think about local collective action and its ability to address major resource issues. Cole and McGinnis are uniquely qualified to assemble this compendium because of their long-standing interaction as close colleagues of the Ostroms in the development of the Bloomington School of Political Economy. -- Gary Libecap, University of California, Santa Barbara Anyone who wonders why Elinor Ostrom received the Nobel Economic Sciences Prize need only read this book to stop wondering. -- Thomas C. Schelling, University of Marylandshow more

Table of contents

PART III: A NEW VISION FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 7 Public Choice: A Different Approach to the Study of Public Administration 165 Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom 8 Alternative Approaches to the Organization of Public Proprietary Interests 189 Vincent Ostrom 9 Executive Leadership, Authority Relationships, and Public Entrepreneurship 217 Vincent Ostrom 10 Artisanship and Artifact 233 Vincent Ostrom 11 Refl ections on Vincent Ostrom, Public Administration, and Polycentricity 251 Michael D. McGinnis and Elinor Ostrom PART IV: LESSONS FOR THE STUDY AND PRACTICE OF POLITICS 12 Elinor Ostrom: Politics as Problem-Solving in Polycentric Settings 281 Michael D. McGinnis 13 Converting Threats into Opportunities 307 Elinor Ostrom 14 A Frequently Overlooked Precondition of Democracy: Citizens Knowledgeable about and Engaged in Collective Action 337 Elinor Ostrom Index 353 Contributors 000show more