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Design Principles for Local and Global Commons

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: McGinnis, Michael D.; Ostrom, Elinor
Conference: Linking Local and Global Commons
Location: Harvard Center for International Affairs, Cambridge, MA
Conf. Date: April 23-25
Date: 1992
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5460
Sector: Global Commons
Subject(s): global commons
common pool resources
design principles
institutional analysis--IAD framework
Abstract: From p. 2: "We argue that the conclusions of research on small-scale settings are relevant to the analysis of international cooperation for three fundamental reasons. First, the substantive nature of many local and global problems is similar. Second, despite vast differences in the scale involved in local and global commons, the underlying logical configuration of the CPR situation at these levels is fundamentally similar. Thus, the theoretical principles underlying successful cooperation at both levels are also similar. Third, any global regime that undermines the requisites for successful cooperation at the local level is unlikely to be sustainable in the long run. After briefly reviewing the theoretical underpinnings and the major conclusions of this research program, we present an extended discussion of the application of these conclusions to issues of cooperation in the global political arena. We pay particular attention to the complications that arise from the diversity of the collective action organizations involved in global politics, as well as the ways in which this diversity can be used to enhance the robustness of global regimes. We conclude with a brief discussion of the types of game theoretic models that would be most useful for evaluating alternative institutional arrangements."

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