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Editorial: 'Governing the Commons' for Two Decades: A Complex Story

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Berge, Erling; van Laerhoven, Frank
Journal: International Journal of the Commons
Volume: 5
Page(s): 160-187
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7542
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): collective action
common pool resources
Ostrom, Elinor
governance and politics
Governing the Commons
social capital
Abstract: "In complex systems, the elements are interrelated in ways that ensure that one element cannot be studied without accounting for the others. We take as a fact that the world over time has become more and more complex. The story of Elinor Ostroms Governing the Commons is among other things a story with a protagonist role for complexity. It is also a tale of the emergence and development of a complex of diverse but interrelated disciplines, and subsequently, angles, perspectives, methods, themes, insights, and lessons-learned. In the fall of 2008, it was 40 years since Hardin (1968) created a new research field by expounding his ideas about the commons. At one of our editorial meetings (6-7 November 2008) we realized that in a short while it would be 20 years since Elinor Ostrom (1990) transformed this same research field. We felt it would behoove our journal to take a closer look at what had followed from this publication. As we finalized our list of invitations and a letter explaining our intent, the news broke that Lin had been awarded The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2009, sharing it with Oliver E. Williamson. What better reason can we give for what follows."

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