Local Commons

From Critiques Of Libertarianism
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Elinor Ostrom's real-world observed solutions to regulating commons without ownership. These require government protection of community rights to control the commons. This is not libertarian: no private property, and two levels of government.


A General Framework for Analyzing Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems [More...]
A Review of Design Principles for Community-based Natural Resource Management [More...]
"We analyzed 91 such studies to evaluate the principles [Ostrom's] empirically and to consider what theoretical issues have arisen since their introduction. We found that the principles are well supported empirically and that several important theoretical issues warrant discussion. We provide a reformulation of the design principles, drawing from commonalities found in the studies."
Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems [More...]
Elinor Ostrom smacks down the libertaran false dichotomy of state versus market in her Nobel Prize lecture. She discusses how public/private goods, market/government and fully rational individuals fail for analyzing many real-world problems, and presents her Institutional Analysis and Development framework.
Common and Private Concerns [More...]
A seminal paper explaining models in terms of types of resources, property, and management regimes. Explains the problem with the Tragedy Of The Commons model. "The goal is to clarify concepts and raise issues that may contribute to the further development of theory concerning property rights and the performance of natural resource systems."
Community Rights (1 link)
Communities should be empowered to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their residents and the natural environment, and establish environmental and economic sustainability.
Elinor Ostrom on the Commons [More...]
How real-world solutions to the "tragedy of the commons" work without privatization. An easy, brief introduction.
Elinor Ostrom's 8 Principles for Managing A Commmons [More...]
"Ostrom’s achievement effectively answers popular theories about the “Tragedy of the Commons”, which has been [erroneously] interpreted to mean that private property is the only means of protecting finite resources from ruin or depletion."
Elinor Ostrom, The Commons and Anti-Capitalism [More...]
Elinor Ostrom and her institutional approach were neither socialist, anti-state, left, conservative, anarchist, nor free-market. She was an egalitarian institutionalist who studied many forms of common pool resource management and non-market economics, with emphasis on when collective communal ownership was possible.
Forms of Property Rights and the Impacts of Changing Ownership [More...]
"But there is a third paradigm, "the social/community paradigm," involving questions about distributional equity, community welfare, and other social and cultural benefits. The "social/community paradigm" is absent in most discussions oftragedies of the commons and natural resource management."
Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (book, online)
Elinor Ostrom's book on non-private, non-government control of resources which earned her a Nobel Prize in Economics.
Ostrom’s Law: Property rights in the commons [More...]
"Ostrom's Law: A resource arrangement that works in practice can work in theory. Ostrom's scholarship challenges the conventional wisdom by examining how people interact over resources on the ground - an approach that enables her to identify recurring institutional features associated with long-term success."
Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges [More...]
"This article discusses new insights about such problems and the conditions most likely to favor sustainable uses of common-pool resources. Some of the most difficult challenges concern the management of large-scale resources that depend on international cooperation, such as fresh water in international basins or large marine ecosystems."
The Ostrom Nobel [More...]
"Her landmark book, Governing the Commons, provides an empirical rejoinder to the pessimism of Garret Hardin and others about the tragedy of the commons -- it documents how people can and do solve these problems in e.g the management of water resources, forestry, pasturage and fishing rights."


Lin [Elinor Ostrom] is emphatically clear on a number of key points:
  1. Self interested behaviour in perfect markets can be highly destructive.
  2. Appropriate norms and rules will not rely on pure self interest, but instead build on the capacity of (many) actors for conditional cooperation and reciprocity.
  3. Norms rely on collectively mandated sanctioning mechanisms if they are to work properly.
These are not, as I understand Hayek, Hayekian claims.
Henry Farrell, "The Ostrom Nobel"
Ostrom stresses repeatedly that even the best functioning markets are undergirded by an array of collective institutions which order people’s market interactions, and that in the absence of such rules, self interested behaviour will have highly adverse consequences.
Henry Farrell, "The Ostrom Nobel"