Lexington Press has recently finished publishingÂ a four volume collection of the work of Elinor Ostrom and her husband Vincent–before that I do not believe the work has been gathered anyplace easily accessible. Since the price is astronomical–though well worth it for the serious scholar or scholarly library, I’m sure–I’d love to have a single-volume reader… Continue reading An Ostrom Reader
This past weekend, we inaugurated a new competition soliciting “civic games.”Â Hopefully it will become an annual contest, but for now the most vexing question coming from game designers is: “What makes a game civic?” Our definition of civics offers little help: we argue that civics is an expansive conception of politics, understood as a response… Continue reading Civics, Gaming, and the Commons
To be clear, I’m not endorsing drug markets, or even beating up your food truck competitors. But I find it strange when ordinary human behavior–often the laudatory kind that is responding to a larger abuse of power with small-scale violence–is pathologized by my fellow liberals who recognize the small-scale violence but ignore the larger abuses.
A shoveled sidewalk is a strange sort of common pool resource: it’s not like fisheries or irrigation where the more one person uses the resource, the less there is for others. That is, it’s not precisely “rivalrous,” one of two conditions required for a common-pool resource to flourish. In fact, the more people shovel their sidewalks, the better off each individual with a shoveled sidewalk is. This is what economists call “anti-rivalry” and is frequently linked to network effects.
I’ve just returned from two weeks at the Tufts Summer Institute of Civic Studies, which culminated in a conference attended by 117 researchers, practitioners, philanthropists, and public officials interested in expanding the role of citizens in our democracy. Peter Levine summed up the conference here: The Frontiers conference was modeled on No Better Time, a… Continue reading What can small groups do?