Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis

Polycentric Circles

Vol. 5   No. 2

July 1999

Co-Directors—Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom

Co-Associate Directors—Michael McGinnis and James Walker

Newsletter Editor—Charla Britt

Newsletter Design—Patty Dalecki

The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis turned 25 years old this year. As many of you already know, the Workshop on the Workshop (or WOW2) was organized to mark this milestone. And what a celebration it was! Over 140 people from 28 different countries participated in this conference which combined the best of the Workshop traditions, namely good scholarship and a lot of fun.

Mike McGinnis started the conference with a plenary session in which he suggested a framework distilled from Workshop research programs (see inset). In this, he considered macro, meso, micro, and nano levels of analysis, including issues of constitutional order, models or experiments of social dilemmas and coordination problems, and studies of local public economies and development. Tongue in-cheek but not in-check at the Friday evening banquet, Mark Sproule-Jones identified these carefully aligned “rectangles” of research associated with the Workshop tradition as an intriguing representation of “a polycentric circle.” Boxed for the sake of simplifying the various and sundry research activities of Workshop colleagues, Mike’s presentation stressed the need for more work which effectively incorporates components of the IAD framework into meso or national-level analyses, and which also synthesizes and compares multi-level and multi-arena situations.


WOW Squared and Circled
“Why Dates Matter”
“Workshop Awards”
A Workshop First: Wedding Bells!
Alumni News 
Music for a CPR Researcher’s Eyes
Spotlight on Gibson
Science’s Compass
Visiting Scholars
Recent Publications
Hot Off the Press

Contributors include:  
Michael McGinnis, Elinor Ostrom, Roger 
Parks, Tjip Walker, and Rick Wilson


Four Themes of Workshop Research Programs

Macro-Level Analysis: The Constitution
of Order in Human Societies

Polycentricity vs. Sovereignty

Democracy in Civilizations

Patterns of Metropolitan Governance

Local Public Economies

Evaluation of Police and
Other Public Services

Development Institutions 
and Infrastructure



Public Goods/Voting

Common-Pool Resources

Models and Laboratory Experiments:
Social Dilemmas and Coordination Problems


Panels for the conference were organized around four broad themes: (1) Democratic Transformations, (2) Local Public Econ-omies, (3) Development, and (4) Social Dilemmas and Coordination Problems. Within each theme, papers were collated into panel groupings, with presentations given by a discussant who synthesized and highlighted important points. This was followed by brief responses from the paper authors. A similar format is used in the bi-annual mini-conferences that are held at the Workshop each December and May, and is very popular. The advantage of this approach is that a nonauthor presenter is often better-situated to explain key points of a paper more succinctly, leaving the author time to respond with clarifications or to make other comments. The papers presented at WOW2 were a diverse lot, reflecting the array of subject matter pursued and methodologies used by Workshop colleagues. It is difficult to recreate with words the experience of WOW2–in substance, feeling, and all of the excellent comments made by participants. Here for your perusal, however, are examples of a few of the many quotable quotes and concerns or issues raised during the conference. 

In discussions about democratic transitions, several participants cautioned that democracy can be a long and uncertain process. Spencer Yang remarked that establishing “democratic” institutions in the context of a weak civil society might result in the further weakening of civil society. Brian Loveman cautioned that entrenched ethnic and religious conflicts are not easily resolved by institutional design. Vincent has long stressed the dangers of thinking in terms of “the” government, and Brian made the same point about “the” military. Brian also took exception to the practice of treating constitutional design as a totally different mode of interaction, noting that most constitutions (especially in Latin American nations) were designed to resolve an immediate crisis. Such constitutions hardly fit the Buchanan-Tullock model of careful deliberation and design.

Alexander Oblonsky pointed to one potential problem with decentralization, specifically, that it may only serve to empower local autocrats or establish local tyrannies. Arun Agrawal encouraged us to look beyond the standard dichotomy between state and community, arguing that state formation and community formation are often very closely linked processes. In other words, community members may make recourse to national governments to help articulate their own sense of identity in ways conducive to the interests of some segments of a community. Phil Sabetti sounded a similarly cautionary note, saying that “even systems of self-governance can indulge some members of that community and deprive others.”

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul and others stressed the problems involved in trying to draw sharp distinctions among custom, customary law, and statutory law. Kathryn Firmin-Sellers stated a basic problem as learning how we can establish government institutions that mimic the flexibility and adaptability found in systems of customary law. André Habisch discussed the positive link between social capital and poverty reduction, and how policies need to incorporate elements of choice and enabling environments that increase the social capital of the poor. 

Harvey Starr argued that the IAD framework should be seen as an example of the long-standing tension between agents and structures. Mike McGinnis noted that the Workshop approach is more conducive to the agency side, and that structural constraints are more difficult to capture within the IAD framework. One example is a situation in which defensive actions taken by one community are routinely misinterpreted as aggressive by members of rival communities. In a system of overwhelming fear, even moves toward self-governance can be similarly misinterpreted as threatening. Sadly, as Brian Loveman reminded us, “fear is a fact on the ground for millions of people” throughout the world.

Vincent has long emphasized that, in some conflict situations, national governments act like predators on their own peoples. Mike McGinnis commented that there may not be much of a difference between the government and the rebel forces, except that “one’s in the UN and the other’s not.” The Southern Sudan is one example of such an intractable conflict. Wal and Julia Duany reported on their efforts to contribute towards the peacekeeping process, not only between the government and rebel forces but also, and more fundamentally, between different social groups of people living in southern Sudan. In this discussion, Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul and Gautam Yadama took opposite sides in reflecting on partition and state formation. Minoti, referring to the partition of India from the perspective of “Midnight’s Children,” noted that partition has neither brought peace nor stability to India and Pakistan.

During the closing plenary session several participants reflected on the reasons why the Workshop has been so successful for so long. Roger Parks summarized the modus operandi of the Workshop as “taking a problem and worrying it to death.” Lin included the weekly colloquium, the seminar, and especially the staff as essential ingredients in the success of the Workshop. She also clued us into one secret ingredient, namely, the importance of having fun while you work.

Front row:T. K. Ahn, Nives Dolsak, Esther Mwangi, Barbara Allen, Brenda Bushouse, Arun Agrawal, Margaret Polski
2nd row:Joseph Bahati, Aseem Prakash, Dixie Ray, Edella Schlager, James McDavid, John McIver, Wai Fung Lam
3rd row:Tjip Walker, Roger Parks, Robert Bish, Vincent Ostrom, Elinor Ostrom, David Allen, Frank Maier-Rigaud, Richard Hung
4th row:Myungsuk Lee, Wal Duany, Susan Wynne, Mark Sproule-Jones, Filippo Sabetti, Tai-Shuenn Yang
Last row:
Alphonso Manns, George Varughese, Rick Wilson, James Wunsch

Yes, WOW2 had its share of panels and presentations. But there was play too, and humor. Starting with an Open House in the Workshop on June 9th and the Welcome Reception Dinner that same evening in Woodburn House, laughs were sustained at least through the banquet on Friday evening. The banquet had a number of surprise elements, including a Happy 80th Birthday cake for Vincent and not-so impromptu performances by a number of Workshoppers who missed their calling by not going into stand-up comedy. As James Wunsch commented, “Bring back Rick, Mark, and Roger for another show.” Since Roger had initially requested the need-be for mud-wrestling, we were all very fortunate that the evening only ended uproariously with: (1) a soliloquy by Roger Parks on “why dates matter”—especially why Vincent’s birth, nearly 80 years ago, was not an accident (see p. 4); (2) a list of “Work-shop Awards,” not to be confused with mere Tony’s or Oscar’s, by Rick Wilson (see p. 5); and (3) a lucid explanation of polycentric circles and Irish humor by Mark Sproule-Jones. With regard to the latter, Mark joked that rabbits, when backed by a strong supervisor, can complete seemingly unbelievable feats. In the spirit of this insight, a picture of a large number of rabbits was taken after the final session, including only those rabbits whose Ph.D. dissertations were supervised by Lin or Vincent (photo at left).   

  Saturday and Sunday were packed with wonderful opportunities for enjoying friends and the scenery of southern Indiana. The barbecue on Saturday provided good American picnic fare, and opportunities for people to swim or walk the hiking trails of McCormick’s Creek State Park. On Sunday the Ostrom’s hosted a lovely brunch which was followed by, for the truly intrepid, pontoon boating on Lake Monroe.  For those who were unable to make WOW2, don’t worry! It seems that WOW3 is already being seriously considered.

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul

Stefan Dalecki

                                                Lin & Vincent

Morton Lowengrub, Harvey Starr, Robert Stein     

Stephan Kuhnert, Christian von Twickel

Revelers at McCormick’s Creek

Mark Sprou le-Jones

Larry Kiser, Roger Parks


Tjip Walker ( responded to Mike’s Plenary presentation and the associated paper with a lengthy email. In this he recommends some crucial research directions for a more self-conscious extension and integration of the work of Workshop colleagues, condensed as follows:

“1. Frameworks, Theories and Models (FTM)…[T]he insight into a hierarchy of conceptual analysis consisting of FTM is one of the more profound and insightful contributions of Workshoppers. Yet, at least to my knowledge, no one has developed a full-scale treatment of this idea and its implications.… For academia as a whole, widespread acceptance of this approach…would allow scholars to see themselves as collaborators working within a common framework on separate problems rather than locked in a zero-sum game of rival theories… The advantage of a further development of this construct would also benefit the work of the Workshop in much the same way. Drawing on this idea would allow us within the tradition to explain more readily how experiments and formal theory on CPRs relates to the construction of environmental policy in the Amazon or contracting out municipal services… In short, I think that the notion of FTM needs to become as central to the work of the Workshop as IAD, but there needs to be a lot of work on the topic before it can serve in that role.

2. Industries and the Messy Meso Level…[T]he appropriate framework for investigations into the meso level is the industry… If we accept a common interest in understanding how the nature of goods and services, underlying governance structure and the prevailing environment affect the structure, operation, and outcomes of industries, then we can begin distilling patterns and comparing them across time and place… [O]ne of the reasons that the analytic development in meso analysis is further behind than either the macro or micro levels is that the connections between the IAD framework and the phenomenon being analyzed are more elusive. Although the levels of analysis (constitutional, collective choice, and operational) are intended to be analytical categories, they are much more comprehensible when there are real-world analogs. In the messy meso level such analogs are rare…”

Mike’s response to Tjip’s comments included: “I agree that the public industry concept is a central contribution, and one that development researchers could more explicitly draw upon. It would also provide a way out of over-reliance on case studies of specific organizations. But it might also be useful to look at single cases in terms of the different modes of interaction that a single group of people may engage in, depending on whether they are operating in operational, collective choice, or constitutional mode. I agree that the three ‘levels’ can be well-illustrated by analysis of different scaled aggregations or organizations in a given public service industry, but I also want to avoid too close an equation of levels of aggregation and modes of interaction in different arenas. That’s why I think levels of analysis can be a misleading term. 

Your emphasis on FTM as a major component of the Workshop tradition is a nice point. In my notes for the plenary session presentation I had included a comment about how by developing more explicit examples of alternative models of a given situation we could better convince others about the usefulness of the extensive ‘lingo’ developed by Workshop scholars over the years. We have a few examples of such models, but more of this needs to be done and in more prominent outlets….”  

WOW2: “Starting from the webpage, to providing towels at McCormick’s Creek  barbecue, demonstrated phenomenal planning.Every single person I met with had the highest praise for the organizers… Perhaps the Workshop should start a School of Management to teach how to do things well, both functionally and aesthetically!”  


“Workshop Awards” by Rick Wilson

One of the nice things about coming to WOW is that it affords a chance to look back. As all of you know, Lin and Vincent have won many awards over the years. All of them honor their scholarship and commitment. However, in looking back over their careers I noticed several awards that had been given, but have never been celebrated. So tonight I thought I would bring these to your attention:

1. “Tommy Hobbes Award.” This award was presented to Vincent several years ago by his many students from Seminar. The award notes that life in seminar was never “nasty” or “brutish” . . . and definitely not “short.” There was general agreement that Hobbes had it wrong. It was never the “War of all against all,” but rather the “War of all against Vincent.”

2. “CPR Award.” This is a rare mistaken award given to Lin. It appears that some enterprising intern for a large lobbying group was searching titles of abstracts and kept finding Lin's name as an author of many, many papers on CPRs. There were so many papers that the group decided to give Lin the award for her work in making CPR commonplace. The award was from the American Cardiological Society.

3. “Mattel Award.” The makers of the board game “Monopoly” gave Lin an award for accumulating and consolidating property around Workshop 1. They are waiting for Lin to put up “hotels” and Lin is anticipating the time when the Dean lands on one of the properties.

4. “Tower of Babel Award.” This is a joint award to Lin and Vincent for surviving innumerable miniconferences.

5. “Weyerhauser Award.” This is a surprising award from the giant paper company. The award is not to Lin for her insights into sustainability (why would Weyerhauser care). Instead, the award is to Vincent for his sheer usage of paper products. His publications over the past 20 years have been responsible for 800 hectares of pine trees being downed in Oregon.

6. “Mrs. Paul’s Award.” This is to Lin and her many students who have studied fisheries. The award was given for their efforts in sustainability and what this means for “keeping the frozen fish stick industry afloat.”

7. “Herzberg Fashion Picks Award.” No gathering of Workshoppers is complete without Bobbi Herzberg and her fashion picks. Unfortunately Bobbi is not here this year, but she did name a winner. This award is in honor of John McIver's infamous “pink suit” and is given to Vincent for his many fashion statements over the years.

8. “Wunsch Award.” This award was given to Lin for her perserverance in continuing to take students sent to her by Jim Wunsch at Creighton University. Lin has vowed to keep taking them until Jim “gets it right.” To help him out, Lin has sent Sue Crawford.

9. “A.H.A. Award.” This award was given to Lin in recognition of her work on irrigation systems. Recognizing that her research might “dry up,” the American Hydrological Association awarded Lin a “divining rod.”

10. “Staff of State Award.” This award was given to Vincent to remind him of the role of the state. As Mike McGinnis reminded us in his overview of WOW2, the “State” often wields a stick to strike us all. Vincent was given a stick to wield to keep us all in line.

11. “The Non-specific Award.” This award was given to all of the staff at the Workshop who did a wonderful job in setting up WOW2. While there are no plaques or ribbons, all of the staff deserve our heartfelt thanks and applause.”  

“Why Dates Matter”:  
History According to 
Roger Parks

September 25, 1919: Was it a coincidence that Vincent Ostrom was born in this year? I think not. By this time Woodrow Wilson has revealed his lack of skill as a public administrator. Recognizing the failure of Woodrow Wilson as a public administrator and political scientist, Vincent leapt from his mother’s womb and immediately began writing an extended critique. As Vincent is a careful scholar who often revises his manuscripts, it was some 50 years later before this critique appeared in his manuscript, the Intellectual Crisis. But we can be sure that he was working on it from day one!

August 7, 1933: Another important birthday. Elinor Ostrom immediately begins her study of water resource management. First in her mother’s bathtub, later in the swimming pools of southern California, still later in the West basin of Los Angeles, and still later in the mountains of Nepal. There is an unconfirmed rumor that her dissertation was the source from which the movie Chinatown was scripted. Lin, is it true?

July 10, 1976: Patty Zielinski (now Dalecki) celebrates her first birthday as a Workshopper. My recollection is that Patty was 12 years old that year, when her sister Mary sold her into long-term indenture at the “Work-house.” 

Fall 1981: We have not been able to secure the exact date as the historical records from these days are cloudy. However, we believe it was in September that Vincent turned his sights eastward, venturing out over the broad eastern sea to discover a new world–which he dubbed Europe. There he met the reclusive Herr Doctor Professor Ordnung, who revealed to VO his celebrated “Theorie.” For nearly two decades, hundreds of Workshop scholars have therefore benefitted from Vincent’s reading of “Ordnungs-theorie.” Another wonderful result of Vincent’s voyage of discovery is that many of our good friends and colleagues here tonight have become Workshop citizens.

1987-88: Voyages of Discovery, Part 2. Vincent, Elinor, Larry, Ron, Susan, and many others, influenced by endless viewing of Star Trek reruns, choose to boldly go where no Workshopper has gone before. They venture to Africa and Asia to hunt wild game, measure mountain streams, gather Arabica coffee beans, and encounter many new colleagues who also are with us tonight.

Spring 1985, and again in Spring 1994: Vincent’s secret life as a fashion model is revealed. We are sad to report that his alter-ego, Vinnie, is in hiding and won’t be here to offer fashion tips this year.

June 1994: Workshoppers gather for the infamous Group Picture. Casualties include 10 near faints, 15 cases of heat rash, and 25 cases of severe sunburn, as the photographer spent what seemed like 2.5 hours arranging the crowd… Serendipity reigns once again. As a result of this experience, Lin decides to tackle global warming. Can there be any other explanation for CIPEC?

   “WOW2 very much did not meet my expectations, it surpassed them.”   

  “Do not let die the philosophical dimension of the Workshop activities.”    

  “I like the atmosphere of being open and listening to each other. So, when I come to the Workshop, I nearly expect that something has changed in my thinking when I come home again.”    

“Having a specific theme and calling for papers related to that theme might provide a level of synthesis lacking this time.” 

Wedding Bells!

On May 23, 1999, Workshoppers Nives Dolsak and Aseem Prakash tied the knot. Marriage traditions from the homelands and religions of bride and groom were incorporated into a civil ceremony performed by Pat Haley, Monroe County Court Clerk, inside the Workshop building. Vincent and Lin escorted bride and groom to the front of the living room area, where the service was performed, and served as witnesses. Over twenty Workshop-related friends attended. Aseem’s vows included the Sanskrit mantra: “Keeping our eyes focused on the sun that is rising in the east, may we see a hundred autumns, live a hundred autumns, hear a hundred autumns, and longer than a hundred autumns may we enjoy all these blessings.” In a champagne toast, Lin advised the newlyweds to “find enough time for each other every day, no matter what professional goals you may have to accomplish.”  



Chi-Kan Richard Hung has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Massachusetts, in the College of Public and Community Service. He will be teaching courses related to public finance and public policy in the Masters Program in Human Services.

Elinor Ostrom has won the prestigious Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science for 1999 from the Department of Government at Uppsala University, Sweden, “for her profound empirical, as well as theoretical, analysis of the nature of collective action and rational choice.” The Prize of 400,000 Swedish kronor (approx. 50,000 US dollars) is one of the largest in the social sciences and will be awarded at a ceremony in Uppsala on October 2, 1999. 

 Vincent Ostrom’s book, The Political Theory of a Compound Republic, was selected for the 1999 winner of the “Best Book on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations” by the American Political Science Association. The Award will be presented at the APSA meetings in Atlanta on September 2, 1999. 

Sujai Shivakumar and Rama Ramani gave their vows of marriage on June 24th, in Bangalore, India. We wish them all the best in their future life together. 

Maria Clara da Silva-Forsberg received her Ph.D. in the Environmental Science Program, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, after defending her dissertation “Protecting an Urban Forest Reserve in the Amazon: A Multi-scale Analysis of Edge Effects, Population Pressure, and Institutions,” on June 17th. Her dissertation addresses environmental problems in restricted-use forest reserves integrating social, biophysical, and institutional data to explain ecological characteristics and conservation performance. She plans to return to Brazil to teach and work with projects related with the conservation and management of natural resources, but is also applying to international organizations with a similar focus. 

George Varughese defended his Ph.D. dissertation, “Villagers, Bureaucrats, and Forests in Nepal: Designing Governance for a Complex Resource” on June 16th. In this he does an analysis of collective action in 18 forest user groups in the Middle Hills of Nepal analyzing the impact of population change on forest condition, and heterogeneity and social capital on collective action. He assumes a position with the UNDP, Kathmandu, as Program Development Advisor in July.

From: Bamidele Olowu
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999
To: Ostrom, Elinor
Subject: Thanks Dear Lin:

Let me use this opportunity to congratulate you and Vincent for an excellent WOW2. It was such a great improvement on WOW1 in every sense. I also want to thank you for the genuine interest you have taken in me personally and the members of our research group based in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. As was freely and rightly expressed at the workshop such level and quality of commitment without considerations of race, nationality or personal advantages to yourselves is rare to come by in the world in which we live in presently. My association with your way of thinking of institutional matters has revolutionized my research since my chance meeting with you and Vincent in 1984. I am glad that time has borne out the significance and relevance of your work for development studies… Jim Wunsch and myself are finishing the follow-on to the Failure of the Centralized State. It is titled: Consolidating Democracy in Africa. We are using polycentricity as the central organizing idea for the book…

Best wishes, Bamidele Olowu
Institute of Social Studies
The Hague, The Netherlands


Peter Orebech reports that now that the summer vacation has started: We are headed for the cottage south of Oslo by the fjord near the Swedish border. Elisabeth is still working with some preparation for the students in the Fall semester. She is preparing courses for 300 students in how to operate user’s manuals, run the Bibsys, search the Internet, and find things in virtual libraries… Have I forgot to say that WOW2 was “fenomenal,” as we say in Norwegian! Thank you for an unforgettable event!

 Aseem Prakash and Jeff Hart presented a seminar at the United Nations on Globalization and Governance, June 18, 1999. Aseem has been nominated to the expert group on economic governance and will be contributing (sole author) to the state-of-the-public-sector report that the UN plans to publish.


Workshop affiliated faculty-member Clark Gibson was featured in Research and Creative Activity (January 1999), a publication of the Office of Research and the University Graduate School, Indiana University, which offers its readers the opportunity to become familiar with the professional accomplishments of distinguished faculty and graduate students. The article “Wildlife: Politics and Policies,” provides a lively account of how Gibson, a native Californian, became interested in Africa, Latin America, and the politics of natural resources.


A CPR Bibliography on CD

Hess, Charlotte, ed. 1999. A Comprehensive Bibliography of Common Pool Resources. Bloomington: Indiana University, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

ISBN 1-889740-03-9

The Workshop has just published a searchable and browsable reference source with 22,500 citations on CD-Rom. This interdisciplinary work incorporates all of the verified citations from volumes 1-3 of Common Pool Resources and Collective Action (1989, 1992, and 1996), and adds over 9,000 new records. The resource sectors include: Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, General and Multiple CPRs, Grazing, Information and Knowledge Commons, Land Tenure and Use, Nontraditional CPRs, Social and Community Organization, Theory and Experimental, Urban Commons, Water Resources, and Wildlife. The innovative software was adapted from using freeware by America Online by Workshop technologists Bob Lezotte and Ray Eliason. Standard price is $45; Institutional price is $75; and Discount price is $10 (available to students and others with income less than $15,000/yr).

Focus on Sustainability

The April 9th issue of Science contains an article coauthored by Lin Ostrom, Joanna Burger, Christopher Field, Richard Norgaard, and David Policansky. Entitled “Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges,” the article discusses new insights on CPR management and conditions most likely to favor sustainable uses of these resources. Noting that “[t]he empirical and theoretical research stimulated over the past 30 years…has shown that tragedies of the commons are real, but not inevitable,” the authors conclude that “[p]rotecting institutional diversity related to how diverse peoples cope with CPRs may be as important for our long-run survival as the protection of biological diversity.”

Tocqueville Endowment








(Thousands of Dollars)



Market Value





Gain (Loss)





Est. Income





Gain (Loss)










The annual rate of consumer-price inflation in the U.S. was 2.1% (The Economist)






Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, Department of Political Science, IU, “Institutions and Outcomes: Expanding French and British Rule in West Africa,” 1/25

David Waterman, Department of Telecommunications, IU, and Krishna P. Jayakar, Ph.D. Candidate in Mass Communications, Department of Telecommunications, IU, “Cultural Sovereignty and the Economics of American Movie Exports,” 2/1

Anthony McCann, Research Associate/Fulbright Scholar, Smithsonian Institution, Doctoral Candidate, University of Limerick, “Breaking the Code: Irish Traditional Music, Copyright, and Common Property,” 2/8

Margaret Polski, Dissertation Fellow, Workshop, Department of Political Science, IU, “Changing the Rules of the Game: Explaining Interstate Banking Reform in the U.S.,” 2/15

Stephanie Brewer, >Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, IU, “Experimental Economics Research: A Provision Point Public Goods Exercise,” 2/22

Douglas Medin, Co-Director, Program in Cognitive Studies on the Environment, Northwestern University, “Universal and Cultural Features of Folktaxonomy, Folkecology, and Agroforestry Practice,” 3/1

Kenneth Richards, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU, “Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Strategy: Implementing a Sinks Policy in the United States,” 3/8

Mark Baker, Arcata, CA, “Searching the Boundaries of CPR Theory: Explaining Persistence and Change within the Gravity Flow Irrigation Systems (Kuhls) of Himachal Pradesh, India,” 3/22

Hugh McWilliams Kelley, Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology Department, IU, “Behavioral Country Fund Discounts: Experimental and Field Evidence of Bounded Rationality,” 3/29

Leigh Tesfatsion, Department of Economics, Iowa State University, “Agent-based Computational Economics: Growing Economies from the Bottom Up,” 4/5

Anna Blomqvist, Visiting Scholar, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University, Sweden, “Decentralizing Water Management Tasks in Semi-Arid Environments,” 4/12

S. Bamidele Ayo, Visiting Scholar, Department of Public Administration, Abafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, “Rethinking the Study of Public Administration in Nigeria: A Response to Tocqueville’s Challenge,” 4/19

Nives Dolsak, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, IU, “Marketable Permits: Factors Affecting Their Use for Managing Common-Pool Resources,” 4/26

Visiting Scholars

S. Bamidele Ayo, Professor, Deparment of Public Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, studies public administration and community affairs. His recent work examines Tocqueville’s perspectives on self-governance in relation to the Yoruba in Nigeria and how they resolve problems of daily life by drawing upon their self-governing and self-organizing capabilities.

Anna Blomqvist, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, is working on a study of institutions developed to ensure the environmental quality of eco-labeled products. Taking the case of organically-grown coffee, she is focusing on the transformation of controlling institutions and the growth of the market for eco-labeled products from the South to the North.

Charla Britt, Graduate Field of Development Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, is a Ph.D. Candidate writing her dissertation on social mobilization and community forestry in Nepal. Her research focuses on changes in forest policy and praxis, forest-user networking, and the formation of a national federation of community forestry user groups.

Stephan Kuhnert, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany, is interested in public entrepreneurship and the emergence of institutions. He recently submitted his dissertation in which he develops a dynamic theory of collective action.


The Ecoforestry Institute will be holding a conference, “Forests for the Future,” at Malaspina College, Nanaimo and Wildwood Farms, Southern Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, September 24-26, 1999. Experienced and thoughtful speakers will offer insights on the theory and practice of ecoforestry. More information and conference updates will be posted on the web at:  http://ECOFORESTRY.CA  Email registration can be arranged at: For further information contact Jay or Nina Rastogi: tel: 1-250-722-0099; fax: 1-250-595-8733

t t t

Organizations around the world are being invited to sign a statement on community forestry and join an international network and movement. The “Saanich Statement” is a document that was developed by community forestry experts in and from the Asia-Pacific region during an international meeting held last October on the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria, Canada. “This new network will work to support community forestry locally and globally…[It] will act as an advocacy organization to support and promote policy change” explains Dr. Michael M’Gonigle, Professor and Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy at University of Victoria, which hosted the meeting.

For further information about the Network or to sign the Statement contact Lesley Gilbert, tel: 1-250-472-4487;



Arun Agrawal. 1999. Greener Pastures: Politics, Markets, and Community among a Migrant Pastoral People. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
ISBN 0-8223-2122-X

Arun Agrawal, assistant professor of Political Science at Yale University, and a Workshop regular, offers readers an in-depth view of the life of the Raikas, a little-known group of migrant shepherds in western India, and the institutions they have developed to solve livelihood problems. Politics is ubiquitous in the interactions of the shepherds with their landholder neighbors and state officials, and in their exchanges with farmers as well as their own internal relations as a community. Interspersed with the words of the Raikas themselves, this book combines formal theory and empirical understanding to explain why the shepherds migrate and how their migratory lives depend on market exchanges and the social and political forces that influence prices and determine profits. This volume will interest scholars in a broad range of academic disciplines, including Asian studies, political science, human ecology, anthropology, comparative politics, rural sociology, and environmental studies and policy.

Clark C. Gibson, 1999. Politicians and Poachers: The Political Economy of Wildlife Policy in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0-521-66378-4

Clark Gibson provides a penetrating account of the politics of wildlife conservation policy in Africa, with special reference to Zambia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. The book addresses a general question: “Why don’t wildlife policies seem to be working?” Rather than rely on standard explanations, such as “bureaucratic inefficiency” or “corrupt dictators,” Gibson’s analysis demonstrates how politicians at all levels use wildlife policy for their own political ends, which may or may not include conservation. Using electoral and archival data, as well as interviews with individuals ranging from presidents to poachers, this book should be of interest to political scientists, rural sociologists, policymakers, anthropologists, African scholars, and others.

Brian Loveman. 1999. For La Patria: Politics and the Armed Forces in Latin America. Latin American Silhouettes Series. Wilmington, DE: SR Books. 
ISBN 0-8420-2773-4

Loveman offers a comprehensive narrative-history of the military’s political role in national defense and security in Latin America from colonial times to the present. Though civil-military relations and the role of the armed forces in politics are framed by constitutional and legal norms in Latin America, in actuality these relationships are also often the result of expectations, attitudes, values, and practices that have evolved over centuries as integral aspects of national political cultures. This book considers the historical mission claimed by Latin American armed forces to defend “la patria” or the “fatherland,” and how the military institutions in each Latin American nation have resulted from that country’s own blend of local and imported influences.

Michael McGinnis, ed. 1999. Polycentric Governance and Development: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
ISBN 0-472-08623-5

Co-Associate Director Mike McGinnis has organized essays written by scholars associated with the Workshop into a comprehensive volume–the first in the series! The central insight of the research collected in this volume is that much can be learned by a careful examination of the ways that local communities have organized themselves to solve dilemmas of collective action, achieve common aspirations, and resolve conflicts. Incorporating studies of common-pool resources on a relatively small or localized scale to more macro-levels of analysis, such as constitutional order in Africa, this work is designed to illustrate how “all the pieces fit together” and to suggest connections among multiple levels and modes of analysis. The distinguished list of contributors includes: William Blomquist, Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, Wai Fung Lam, Dele Olowu, Elinor Ostrom, Vincent Ostrom, Edella Schlager, Shui-Yan Tang, and James S. Wunsch.


Becker, Constance D. 1999. “Protecting a Garua Forest in Ecuador: The Role of Institutions and Ecosystem Valuation.” Ambio 28(2) (March): 156-61.

Crawford, Sue E.S. 1998. “Internet Lite: Short Internet Assignments for American Government Courses.” PS: Political Science and Politics 31:573-77.

Crawford, Sue E.S., and David Swindell. 1999. “Local Politics is State Politics: Urban Government in the State’s Capital.” Indiana Politics and Public Policy. Needham Heights: Simon and Schuster.

Gibson, Clark. 1999. “Bureaucrats and the Environment in Africa: The Politics of Structural Choice in a One Party State.” Comparative Politics 31 (April): 273-93.

Habisch, Andre. 1998. “Social Capital Investments, Property Rights and the Ethics of Win-Win: Why Multinational Enterprise Management Should Engage in Institution Building of their Hose Countries.” In Ethics in International Management, ed. Brij Nino Kumar, and Horst Steinmann, 109-26. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Hayashi, Nahoko, Elinor Ostrom, James Walker, and Toshio Yamagishi. 1999. “Reciprocity, Trust, and the Sense of Control: A Cross-Societal Study.” Rationality and Society 11(1) (Feb.): 27-46.

Koontz, Tomas. 1999. “Administrators and Citizens: Measuring Agency Officials’ Efforts to Foster and Use Public Input in Forest Policy.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 9 (April): 251-80.

Ostrom, Elinor. 1998. “Self-Governance of Common-Pool Resources.” In The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law, vol. 3, ed. Peter Newman, 424-33. London: Macmillan Press.

_____. 1999. “Coping with Tragedies of the Commons.” Annual Review of Political Science 2:493-535.

_____. 1999. “Self-Governance and Forest Resources.” CIFOR Occasional Paper no. 20 (February). Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research, 1-15.

Ostrom, Elinor, Joanna Burger, Christopher Field, Richard Norgaard, and David Policansky. 1999. “Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges.” Science 284(5412) (April 9): 278-82.

Schweik, Charles M., and Glen M. Green. 1999. “The Use of Spectral Mixture Analysis to Study Human Incentives, Actions, and Environmental Outcomes.” Social Science Computer Review 17(1) (Spring): 40-63.

Swindell, David, Avra Johnson, and Sue E.S. Crawford. 1998. “Citizen Participation in an Era of Reinventing Government.” Research in Public Administration 4:227-49.


Hot Off the Press!

We are pleased to announce that Ronald Oakerson’s book, Governing Local Public Economies: Creating the Civic Metropolis, has just been published by ICS Press in Oakland, CA [ISBN 1-55815-512-0]. This book grows out of Ron’s earlier Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) report entitled “The Organization of Local Public Economies.” Many of us have used Ron’s report in our teaching and will be extremely pleased to be able to use the paperback for our urban courses in the future.

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A second volume that will be of value to many of us in our teaching was just brought to our attention by Ellis Perlman, University of Michigan, Flint. The book, Metropolitan Government and Governance: Theoretical Perspectives, Empirical Analysis, and the Future, by G. Ross Stephens and Nelson Wikstrom, is just now in proof pages and will be published by Oxford University Press in a few months. It reviews a variety of perspectives on metropolitan governance and Chapter 6, “Public Choice: An Alternative Perspective,” is an extensive and fair overview of work undertaken by Workshop scholars.

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Both of these volumes will be wonderful complements to the soon-to-be published Volume 2 in University of Michigan’s new series “Institutional Analysis.” This is the second of three volumes edited by Michael McGinnis and is entitled Polycentricity and Local Public Economies: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Volume 1, Polycentric Governance and Development, is already out and will be used by many Workshop colleagues in their comparative government and development courses this fall.

Forthcoming Books

Alt, James, Margaret Levi, and Elinor Ostrom, eds. August 1999. Competition and Cooperation: Conversations with Nobelists about Economics and Political Science. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Oakerson, Ronald J. Fall 2000. Keepers of the Republic: A Civic View of American Politics. Oakland, CA: ICS Press.

Prakash, Aseem. December 1999. Greening the Firm: The Politics of Corporate Environmentalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Prakash, Aseem, and Jeff Hart, eds. Spring 2000. Globalization and Governance. London and New York: Routledge.

____. Spring 2000. Coping with Globalization. London and New York: Routledge.

____. Spring 2000. Responding to Globalization. London and New York: Routledge.

         Sabetti, Filippo. 1999. The Search for Good Government: Understanding Italian Democracy. Montreal: McGill


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Last updated:  February 11, 1999