Monday, May 13, 2013

Elinor Ostrom and the commons

Elinor Ostrom's research is well known in many fields, and she achieved a great deal of recognition late in her career, when she received the Nobel prize for economics in 2009. I remember reading her book "Governing the Commons" sometime in the late 90s or early 00s, while thinking about how states and markets relate to what she called common pool resources (perhaps like some raised field landscapes). Something I found very useful about her work was the wide range and large number of people who were using her ideas inside and outside of anthropology. This retrospective, published not long after her death in 2012, puts her research into a broader perspective. The details of her teaching career, which formally began in 1965, should also be an inspiration to young scholars, and to all scholars.

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