On December 7, 2016 the RCCPB and the China Ostrom Society hosted the “Ostrom Symposium on the Study of the Commons, Governance, and Collective Action in China” at the IU China Gateway. The event was opened by IU President Michael McRobbie who delivered an address memorializing the Ostroms and their legacy at Indiana University and beyond. Following the first session in memory of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom, the symposium attendees spent the remainder of the day discussing ongoing research projects and applications for methods on Chinese issues.
The late Elinor Ostrom, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and long-time IU faculty member, and her husband Vincent mentored a number Chinese students and scholars through the workshop that they established at the university. Many of these alumni, visitors, students, and collaborators now serve as faculty at many of China’s top universities and members of influential think tanks. A group of these scholars fonuded the China Ostrom Society in 2009, which aims to promote the Ostroms’ theories and methods including Elinor Ostrom’s pioneering work on polycentric governance of the commons. Their work in topics ranging from water resource management to collaborative governance and collective action has stirred important conversations in Chinese academia on the role of markets, communities, and the state in public policy.