Fall 2000 Colloquia

Colloquia during Fall 2000:

Friday, December 15, 2000


Presented by Samuel Joseph, who has been working with development issues for more than 30 years. His main interest is in developing models of participatory development and his current work is mostly in Africa with some assignments in Asia.


This presentation is a sharing of work done in Somaliland/North West Somalia, (Horn of Africa) since 1993 and how the ideas and people at the Workshop have influenced the institutional and governance works in Somaliland. The presentation will pull together examples of using PRA, institutional design principles, soft systems methodology, and hard systems modeling (computer simulations) to show how local people can participate in designing benefits at the local, regional, and national levels.

The presentation will cover the following in about 70 minutes:

Bio Samuel Virendra Kumar Joseph
222, 3rd Cross, 4th Main,
IST Block, Koramangla,
Bangalore, India 560034

email (India) to Compuserve automatically) (used outside India)

Master's Degree in Social Work
Specialization in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations
Trainer in interpersonal effective communication

Objective: Build models of participatory development which involve local communities, government, and other stakeholders

Functional summary: I work with ActionAid, which is a UK-based charity working in more than 30 countries. ActionAid's vision is a world without poverty in which every person can exercise their right to a life of dignity. In addition to working as the Regional Advisor to ActionAid in the Africa Region, I continue to work closely with ActionAid in Somaliland where, since late 93, I have been nurturing a program capable of functioning in a conflict area. This program now operates through two community-based organizations that cover just under half the country. In addition, I have also provided training and support in The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, China, and India for developing community-based programs where communities can participate in the management of benefits. This training brings together PRA/PLA, institutional design, Soft Systems Methodology, organizational design, and facilitation skills. Participant organizations have included CARE, DANIDA, UNICEF, UNDP, OXFAM, DFID, Swiss Inter-cooperation, forest rangers, Government officials, and community groups. I have also helped to set up village immersion programs for World Bank and UNDP staff. In the late 80s and early 90s, I provided support to multisectoral poverty alleviation programs in India. Before this, I was involved in technical, vocational, and general education, as well as village outreach. In the 70s, I was part of a church-based NGO that introduced soya bean as an industry into India (Nutri-Nuggets). This industry, which did not exist before 1970, now has more than a hundred factories through out India.

There is no formal paper available for this presentation. Mr. Joseph may have materials available at a later date that can be posted on our website: If so, an email will be sent announcing that the materials are available on the website. If you have a question regarding our Colloquium Series, please contact Gayle Higgins (tel 855-0441, email

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Monday, December 4, 2000


Presented by Shlomo Mizrahi, Professor at the School of Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel (Co-author: Arieh Gavious, Ben-Gurion University).


This presentation is divided to two parts. The first part introduces a project that suggests a general framework and elaborates mathematical models of mass collective action and political change. The literature about these dynamics have two main characteristics: (1) It is often argued that a high degree of internal interaction, between small organized groups that compose a large social group, helps to mobilize, and therefore explains, some forms of mass collective action. (2) Researchers tend to focus on the bandwagon effect, that is, the number of people who participate in collective action dramatically influences both potential participants and incumbent politicians. The framework suggested in the project criticizes this literature suggesting a threefold argument.

First, group size and group identity have very limited explanatory power of these dynamics. A two-level theoretical game analysis shows that a composition of many small groups, each with strong group identity, solve the free-rider problem in each group but there is a significant free-riding problem between the groups.

Second, if only the number of participants explain dynamics of mass collective action and political change, then individual preferences can be represented by a simple aggregation thus minimizing their role as an explanatory variable. This means that these dynamics can be analyzed as an automatic mechanism using continuous time models. The models elaborated in this context show that the resources invested by social activists to mobilize collective action and the resources invested by the government to counteract this activity have significant role in shaping the particular dynamic of collective action and political change.

Third, information plays a significant role in these dynamics. The second part of the presentation concentrates on this component of the argument for explaining dynamics of policy and political change following social demands. The interaction between social activists and politicians is modeled by a signaling game in which activists send messages and politicians interpret them, attempting to understand the activists’ goals. These goals are understood as a certain combination of constitutional and policy changes that activists wish to achieve. The formal model shows the conditions for equilibrium with separating and pooling regions dependent on the type of social activists and the demands they raise. In the pooling region an activist who wants to achieve a certain degree of constitutional change sends a false signal, thus possibly leading politicians to enter negotiations under unfavorable conditions.


Ph.D. in political science: 1995, London School of Economics and Political Science. Since 1995 to present: Assistant professor, Department of Public Policy, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Research Interests: public policy, public choice and game theory, collective action, constitutional change, bargaining and conflict resolution.

Research Projects: Mathematical models of mass collective action and political change; Higher education policy; Peace and conflict in the Middle East.

There is a paper for this session entitled “Mathematical Models of Mass Collective Action and Political Change: A Signaling Game between Social Activists and Politicians,” but due to the fact that this paper is part of a larger project, it will not be added to our website. Hard copies of the paper will be available at the Workshop.

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Monday, November 27, 2000

Collective Action in Irrigation

Presented by Ronald S. Smith, Graduate Student and Associate Instructor at the Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington.


While recent scholarship has persuasively argued that institutional design is key to solving the collective action dilemma, our understanding of why the necessary institutions arise in one situation and not another remains a puzzle. The Mormon experience in the Western United States provides a unique opportunity to examine the creation of institutions within both a short time period and relative isolation. For a people accustomed to the humid farming techniques and riparian water rights of the Eastern United States, the arid landscape of the West demanded new rules, institutions, customs, and laws. The purpose of this work is two-fold. First, to show that the institutions that were developed-in particular the mutual water companies-were both a response to, and a product of, the social capital of the community. Thus the institutions drew upon religious norms of cooperation and sacrifice, ecclesiastical hierarchies of authority and responsibility, and networks of communication and service to insure the successful provision of water. This nesting of secular institutions within a larger religious community underscores the importance of context to the current work on collective action.

And, second, though the success of the mutual water companies depended on their ability to draw on the local social capital, there are design principles that can be drawn from these companies that apply across contexts. Specifically, in the absence of the sword successful provision of common-pool resources is aided by the reduction of monitoring costs, increased local involvement, a gradation of sanctions, and the flexibility to meet local time and place needs.
Copies of the paper in pdf format: smith112700.pdf

Monday, November 13, 2000


Presented by Frank P. Maier-Rigaud, Graduate Student at the Department of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, and Research Associate at the Max Planck Project Group on Common Goods, Bonn, Germany.


Standard texts on social dilemmas acknowledge that under market coordination collectively rational outcomes emerge despite the fact that most of the time individuals consider only their own interest. In cases in which market coordination fails, the resulting social dilemmas may or may not be solved by collective action. Collective action, however, is considered successful if the affected individuals can coordinate to act as one. Respectively, research in social dilemmas investigates to what extent institutional arrangements, behavioral patterns and environmental factors inhibit or enhance the chances for cooperation.

The present paper proposes a different way of looking at social dilemma situations that sheds some light on an aspect that thus far has been neglected. It posits that in addition to what is generally understood as the standard collective action problem, social dilemmas may remain “unsolved” despite “successful” cooperation. In fact, actors “succeeding” in overcoming collective action problems may exacerbate social dilemmas.

The paper proceeds by interpreting the market system as a solution to a very fundamental type of collective action problem, namely the problem of allocation of private goods under scarcity. The basic solution to this fundamental problem, however, fails to address other coordination problems and actually creates new problems. These collective action problems constitute the social dilemmas, which are the focus of this paper. They arise because market systems as such are incapable of dealing with non-private goods or non-private effects of private goods.

The paper raises the question if social dilemmas can persist or cause new dilemmas even if the affected individuals are successful cooperators. As a first step in analyzing that question, a distinction between outcomes as measured in market processes and outcomes as evaluated in terms of utility is introduced. It is assumed that market selection does not work on the utility interpretation of an outcome but solely on its pecuniary interpretation. Therefore, only strategies that generate relatively higher pecuniary outcomes are selected for in the market. In terms of evolutionary game theory this implies that the stability of strategies is independent of utility outcomes.

The paper demonstrates that as soon as market outcomes are not a linear transformation of utilities, Pareto inferior outcomes may be evolutionary stable. The substantial information difficulties that are involved when “wrong” relative prices are used to coordinate economic behavior are stressed. In particular it is argued that under a nonlinear mapping of utilities into pecuniary outcomes, players will not have the information necessary to re-coordinate on Pareto optimal outcomes despite their potential willingness to do so. The main argument, however, rests on the logic of market selection, namely that even if players know which strategy will lead to Pareto optimal outcomes, the strategy will not be evolutionary stable.

As a result, decentralized solutions to collective action problems are unlikely to emerge if pecuniary outcomes are nonlinear transformations of utility outcomes. Please go to for further information.

Copies of the paper in pdf format: CPR31.pdf

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Monday, November 6, 2000

Open Source and the Prospects for Common Property in High Tech Societies

Presented by Bryan Bruns, Sociologist, Independent Consultant



What are the prospects for commons in societies of advancing information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology? Scenarios for molecular nanotechnology offer a way of exploring some of the challenges for creating and understanding new commons. The potential for material abundance, long life, and augmented intelligence are among the technological opportunities and threats which pose important questions for how common property resources might be created and managed. The possible application of open source software methods to development of molecular nanotechnology, using networked cooperation to create shared intellectual property, is an illustration of the potential for creating information commons that could affect the course of social and technological change.


Bryan Bruns holds a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University. He co-edited with Ruth Meinzen-Dick the recently published book, Negotiating Water Rights. His practice as a consulting sociologist focuses on participatory approaches to improving water resources and irrigation management. His presentation for the Workshop Colloquium draws on work in progress concerning the social implications and opportunities of nanotechnology. (Further information available at

Copies of the papers in pdf format: Paper 1  Paper 2

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Monday, October 30, 2000


Presented by Toh-Kyeong Ahn, Research Assistant, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington



The standard models of cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma label individuals who follow reciprocity norm “irrational” (Kreps et al., 1982) or “crazy” (Fudenberg and Maskin, 1986). The cooperative equilibria of the models are, in fact, profiles of the irrational (crazy) players’ presupposed behavioral rule and the rational players’ solution to their individual decision-making problem. However, the evidence from both the field and the laboratory suggests that there is a significant proportion of individuals who not only have the reciprocity norm but also use it rationally by responding to the surrounding material, institutional, and population conditions.

In this paper, a baseline 2x2 social dilemma game is defined as an incomplete information game with a material payoff structure of the traditional prisoner’s dilemma but with players of different types defined by the ways they translate allocational states into utilities. Bayesian equilibria of the stage game and the sequential equilibria of the finitely repeated game with a continuum of types are studied. The equilibrium analyses suggest that the possibility of cooperation depends on the distribution of types within a population, the characteristics of material environment, and the players’ willingness to take the risky initiation for coordination.

Implications of the equilibrium analyses are tested drawing on an experimental data set of finitely repeated 2x2 social dilemma games. The experimental data raises two interesting issues related to regression analysis: the heterogeneity among individuals and the interdependence between the choices made by paired players. This paper addresses the issues with a series of fixed effects logit and bivariate probit regressions.

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper

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Monday, October 23, 2000

Some Experimental Results

Presented by Professor Michael Munger, Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
(Co-authors: Scott de Marchi and Michael Ensley, Duke University)



Experiments were conducted, using human subjects, playing a graphical computer game as "challengers", with full information on location of the incumbent and locations of all "voters" (simulated in policy 2 space). The results of the experiments can be summarized as follows:


Professor Munger received his Ph.D. in Political Economy at Washington University in St. Louis in 1984. Following his graduate training, he worked as a staff economist at the Federal Trade Commission. His first teaching job was in the Economics Department at Dartmouth College, followed by appointments in the Political Science Department at the University of Texas at Austin (1986-1990) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1990-7). He moved to Duke in 1997.

His research interests include the study of legislative institutions, election, and public policy, especially campaign finance. In addition to more than 60 articles and papers published in professional journals and edited volumes, Professor Munger has coauthored or coedited (with Melvin Hinich three books, Ideology and the Theory of Political Choice (University of Michigan Press, 1994), Analytical Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Empirical Studies in Comparative Politics (Kluwer Academic Press, 1998). His most recent book, Analyzing Policy: Choices, Conflicts, and Practices, was published in August 2000 by W.W. Norton.

Professor Munger has served in a number of administrative positions. He was the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, which was a program for educating experienced professionals for careers in local public service, including city or county management, or management in non-profit organization. Munger has most recently been the President of the Public Choice Society, an interdisciplinary academic society with members in 16 nations. Public Choice members focus on research in legislatures and political economy from a "rational choice" perspective. (for more information, see web site:

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper

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Monday, October 16, 2000

Presented by R. C. Sekhar, Professor Emeritus, TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal, India



This paper presents a normative vision of a joyous community in rural India where more than 70% of Indians live. It is no different from the utopian vision of Professor Ostrom of communities where everyone will do unto others what they would want done to themselves. This paper derives inspiration from a long history of moral philosophies and, more particularly, from Indian traditions. Contrasting this “ought to be” with “what is” India today, it describes the intentions of the constitution makers in India who derived their inspiration from the French Revolution, the U.S. Bill of Rights, and the Soviet Revolution. They were chary of furthering “decentralization” due to fears that autonomous villages with ancient caste conflicts would stifle the already oppressed. Conflict resolution mechanisms were centralized hoping that this would protect the weak. Affirmative action was enshrined in the constitution and so were polemics and debates institutionalized. Democratic discourse and reconciliation were not, however, institutionalized. Universal and uniform laws were sought. Recent efforts at decentralization have used constitutional methods, cooperative structures, and several other artifacts. There were misgivings about the ability of the Indian village to fit and adapt its ancient methods and values to these “liberal” traditions of the constitution. This paper describes empirical evidence to show that the process of adaptation has taken root. These evidences are in micro-level studies and more extensive field surveys reported in recent research. The author’s own research uses instruments and methods to “measure culture” and triangulate the results with other methods. The author suggests the next steps to be taken for bringing more joy to the Indian villages and for reducing their pain. Among other conceptual measures, this paper shows that the meaning and manner of democratic participation and the utility of “market systems” need major clarifications and elucidation. Major changes in incorporating self-governance in police and judicial administration are also proposed. All these will go towards reducing transaction costs.


R. C. Sekhar is Professor Emeritus at the TA Pai Institute of Management, Manipal. He is the author of a well-known best seller titled Ethical Choices in Business published by Sage. It has sold all over the world and has received high praise from sociologists, philosophers, jurists, management teachers, management practitioners, politicians, and political thinkers. The book has combined the wisdom and practice of several disciplines.

Sekhar was a member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service and, having served in very high positions (equivalent to Member Audit Board), joined the public sector and served as Finance Director of Coal India. He was in the task force of Mohan Kumaramangalam, the then Minister of Steel and Mines, which took over the coal mines on nationalization. Disillusioned with the public sector and its social utility, he switched to the private sector as General Manager in the multi-national EMI (HMV). He later joined academics as Chair Professor at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand.

He teaches Control Systems, Management Accounting, and, of late, is concentrating on teaching Ethics, which he does in several reputed business schools in India; he has also taught at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

He is the author of numerous papers, articles, and contributions to chapters in several books of well-known and respected publishers. His contributions have a striking quality of originality and are always multi-disciplinary.

Contact: 14 Mausam Vihar, Delhi 110051 Tele 011-2046429 (also Fax) E Mail and

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper1 

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Monday, October 9, 2000

Cases from Eastern Indonesia and Northern Tanzania

Presented by Lore M. Ruttan, Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington



Real world communities are heterogeneous. Members often vary in economic endowments and in socio-cultural values. The upshot of these differences is that users of common-pool resources may have varied preferences for communal management. There are two lines of argument as to whether these asymmetries hinder or facilitate collective action. On the one hand, many of Elinor Ostrom’s design principles for successful community management imply homogeneity, for example, users should have similar discount rates, levels of social trust, and information about the resource. Many other authors have taken this to mean that overall heterogeneity must be low, although Ostrom herself does not make this same generalization. On the other hand, Mancur Olson argued that heterogeneity could facilitate collective action when one or a few ‘privileged’ users are able to garner a disproportionate share of the benefits in return for supporting a larger share of the costs. Here I weigh in on these arguments by presenting the results of two case studies. I first present the results of field research on the management of mother-of-pearl shell (Trochus niloticus) in Eastern Indonesia, which suggests that ‘Olson effects’ do occur. This is followed by a game theoretic analysis of the effect of wealth asymmetries on grazing strategies used by pastoralists in Northern Tanzania. This latter analysis suggests that whether heterogeneity helps or hinders collective action depends on the specific costs and benefits of doing so. Finally, I conclude with an exploration of more general theories as to the role of heterogeneity.

No Paper


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Monday, October 2, 2000

Professional Norms and Policies for Private Ranching in Botswana

Presented by Amy R. Poteete, Postdoctoral Fellow, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington



Three major issues concerning the relative importance of ideas, interests, and institutions for the choice of policies deserve closer examination: the influence of ideas in blocking rather than initiating policies; the influence of ideas in policy areas other than macroeconomic strategy; and differentiation in the receptivity of decision-makers to new ideas. Since it is generally easier to defend the status quo than to achieve change, new ideas should gain influence in blocking policies more easily than in initiating policies. The relative ease of blocking policies should increase with the diffusion of authority within a policy area. Diffusion of authority and a multiplicity of ideas characterize interdisciplinary policy areas, such as rural development. Multiple ideas, in the form of professional norms, and the diffusion of authority create possibilities for differentiation in the sources of ideas and in receptivity of ideas across decision-makers. Botswana’s experiences with policies for privatization of the range illustrate these themes. District authorities allocated more than 300 ranches in the 1970s and 1980s. A shift in professional norms, from widespread support for privatization to skepticism and opposition, combined with diffuse relations of authority over land management to bring the process of rangeland privatization to a halt in the 1990s.

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper 


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Monday, September 25, 2000


Presented by Randall Calvert, Professor of Political Science, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
(Paper Co-Author: Justin Fox, University of Rochester)



A self-enforcing, equilibrium account of legislative party organization in the context of the standard legislative bargaining model demonstrates how members of a party could overcome the temptations to violate a party’s agreement to stick together on legislative matters in the absence of external enforcement. The model is robust, and realistic, in the sense that departures from the equilibrium path lead eventually to reestablishment of intra-party cooperation. Thus we construe legislative politics in a way that could support either a purely preference-based equilibrium or an equilibrium in which the legislature has an internal system of party organization that influences members sometimes to vote differently than they would based on their myopic issue preferences alone. There are multiple party equilibria of this type, and different ones would bring about wholly different outcomes. Hence party has a real effect beyond preference in determining legislative behavior.

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper 


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Monday, September 18, 2000

An Investigation with Agent-Based Models

Presented by Matthew J. Hoffman, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University, Bloomington



Where do norms come from? How do they change? While international relations scholars have recently debated the efficacy of focusing on norms in explaining behavior in world politics, there has been less mention of where the norms hypothesized to have influence (or not) come from, how they arise, and how they might change over time-important questions for all of political science. Economic approaches to norm emergence have elegantly shown how norms (entrenched equilibria) can emerge through evolutionary processes, while they have been unable to explain why particular norms arise and how and why they might change over time. In contrast, constructivists have potential mechanisms for addressing these lacunae, but have yet to fully theoretically or empirically explore them. Fortunately, even though the two approaches operate under different logics and contain different definitions and roles for the concept of norm, there is enough common ground that the two conceptions can be modeled in a similar fashion.

In particular, this essay explores the concept of norm entrepreneurs taken from constructivism and investigates the role they can play in fostering the emergence and evolution of specific norms. Through the method of agent-based modeling, I explore how norm entrepreneurs can catalyze the growth of specific norms when multiple options are available and agents would otherwise be unable to create them through individual actions. In addition, I demonstrate that norm entrepreneurs can bring about change in established norms over time. While this study does not generate empirical support for the role of norm entrepreneurs, it does establish that norm entrepreneurs can influence the emergence and evolution of norms in principle. Thus this study provides a firm theoretical grounding for constructivist claims about norm entrepreneurs and offers a potential answer for the gaps in economic conceptions of norm emergence/evolution.

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper 


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Monday, September 11, 2000

The Evolution of the Maine Lobster Co-management Law

Presented by James M. Acheson, Professor at the Department of Anthropology and School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, and Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis



Abstract: In fisheries management circles, there is growing realization that traditional ways of managing marine resources are not working and that new approaches to management need to be tried. One of the most promising of these new approaches is co-management, where authority for managing fish stocks is shared between the industry and government agencies. This paper discusses the implementation of the new co-management system in the Maine lobster industry, which was initiated in 1995.

The law has clearly been successful, in that lobster fishermen have been able to generate rules to constrain their own exploitive effort, which the legislature was unable to provide for them. At the same time, a number of problems have come to the fore, not the least of which was the fact that passage of one regulatory measure caused problems for certain groups of fishermen who demanded remedial legislation. Thus, the co-management effort in Maine has moved ahead by solving a sequence of problems. But the fact that these problems are being solved places Maine in the forefront of jurisdictions experimenting with new ways to manage fisheries. Those interested in fisheries management may want to recall the state’s motto “Dirigo”-“I lead.”

Copies of the paper in pdf format: Paper 


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