Michael Brie: Workshop Suggestions

On the way toward an new political economy –»Understanding Institutional Diversity« (2005) by Elinor Ostrom

In contrast to her works on the commons the late work of Elinor Ostrom »Understanding Institutional Diversity” is still almost unknown or unstudied. But what was a generalization of her earlier empirical studies on water resources became more and more elaborated. The famous Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at the Indiana University in Bloomington became a laboratory of global research and a space for generating a new framework of research. In her work »Understanding Institutional Diversity” Elinor Ostrom presented her methodology in the most developed and systematic form. The presentation will stress the following most important findings:

  1. The neoinstitutional approach developed by Elinor Ostrom coming rational choice theory and a deeper understanding of action arenas structured by institutions.
  2. The reformulation of game theory an the basis of empirical research toward a theory in favor of cooperation instead of the »tragedy of the commons«.
  3. The possibility of creating institutional settings in favor of long-term solidarity based cooperation in complex polycentric settings.

The presenter will discuss some systemic restriction of the Ostrom approach as a result of her reserve to include the dynamics of modern capitalism into her framework restricting the scope of her approach.

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