Fall 2006 Colloquia


Colloquia during Fall 2006


















Monday, August 28, 2006




Presented by Professor Amos Sawyer, Codirector and Research Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB, Professor Jeanette Carter, University of Liberia


Summary: After 15 years of violent conflicts and governance breakdown, Liberia has begun the process of reconstituting institutions of governance. Amos Sawyer, Co-Director of the Workshop, was asked by the Liberian Government to be Chair of the Governance Reform Commission and he has spent several months in Liberia working with Liberian government officials, civil society organizations, and international partners in developing Liberia’s governance reform agenda. Professor Sawyer and Dr. Jeanette Carter, recently Country Representative of Africare, will discuss that agenda, locating it within the broader context of post-conflict reconstruction in the Mano River basin area (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone) of West Africa and highlighting specifically the social and economic governance challenges facing Liberians.




Professor Amos Sawyer is Codirector and Research Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington. Among his activities at the Workshop is his role as coordinator of the Consortium for Self-Governance in Africa (CSGA), an association of research and teaching centers and research-action organizations in Africa and the United States dedicated to the study of Africa’s governance challenges and promotion of self-governing institutions. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University and taught for many years at the University of Liberia, becoming dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities in 1981. He was chairman of the Liberian constitution commission in 1981 and president of the Interim Government 1990-1994, during Liberia’s civil war. He is now Chairman of the Governance Reform Commission in Liberia (Feb 2006-). He is actively involved in peacebuilding and conflict resolution initiatives in Africa and frequently serves in advisory capacities to African regional organizations and the UN on questions of African governance and conflict resolution. He has published extensively on such issues. His recent works include his book on Liberia titled Beyond Plunder: Toward Democratic Governance in Liberia (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005).


Professor Jeanette Carter holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Oregon. Her first involvement with Liberia was in the late 1960s when she did her dissertation research in Lofa County on changing household organization and the money economy. She has been involved with the University of Liberia since the early 1970s when she was a Fulbright Professor. She has participated in several research projects for USAID, including a baseline study of women’s roles and status and a study of management in the agricultural sector (with Professor Sawyer). During the years of conflict in Liberia, she worked in several capacities with international NGOs and the UN. She helped establish STAR Radio, an independent station, in 1997. She is now returning to the University of Liberia where she intends to conduct research on issues relevant to Liberian reconstruction and development.


From her perspective of research and work with NGOs, she will discuss some of the socio-economic and cultural challenges facing Liberians as they rebuild.


PowerPoint Presentation in PDF


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Monday, September 11, 2006




Presented by Stefan Jungcurt, Graduate Student, Department of Resource Economics, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB


Abstract: The phenomenon of institutional interplay has become a growing concern for research on the effectiveness of international institutions, such as multilateral environmental agreements or the international trade regime. The success of an institution depends not only on its own performance, but also on its interactions with other arrangements that have overlapping jurisdictions. Interaction can lead to synergies or disruptions in implementation and the achievement of internationally agreed objectives. In both cases, inter-institutional coordination is necessary to consolidate rules and reduce conflict, or to exploit synergies in implementation.


This presentation consists of two parts. First, I will present a framework for the analysis of interplay between international institutions in different policy fields. The framework builds on the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework and conceptual work on institutional interplay by members of the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC) project. In the second part, I present a paper that addresses one of the research questions emerging from the framework: “What are the factors and strategic incentives that determine whether actors under different agreements will be able to resolve conflicts and manage institutional interaction effectively?”


Using conflicts between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the WTO Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as an example, the paper explores how functional interdependencies between the activities regulated by different agreements affect the emergence of disruptive interplay and the prospect for successful interplay management. A Two-level Game model of negotiations on functionally interdependent issues is used to analyze the incentives for negotiators to delay or prevent consolidation for strategic reasons. The analysis shows that, under certain conditions, persistent disruption may be due to a strategic dilemma that prevents negotiators from taking initiatives for consolidation.


BIO: Stefan Jungcurt is a Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. He is about to conclude his PhD at the Department of Resource Economics at Humboldt University of Berlin, where he has also received his M.Sc. in International Agricultural Sciences in 2001.


In his research, Stefan investigates the causes and consequences of interplay between international institutions in different policy fields, such as environment and trade. He is particularly interested in conflicts between international agreements that regulate the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the WTO Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the FAO International Treaty on PGRFA. Stefan has researched international negotiation processes to analyze strategic interaction among international actors and its impact on institutional interplay. He is also a writer for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin – a reporting service on international environmental negotiations.


For more information, please see:


There are two papers. Stefan will focus on the first paper and give only a brief summary of the second.


Paper I in PDF

Paper II in PDF


Monday, September 18, 2006




Presented by Luis Miller, PhD Candidate, Institute for Advanced Social Studies of Andalusia, Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Córdoba, Spain, and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB


Abstract: This paper aims to integrate both economic and sociological notions of conventions in a single analytical framework. To this end, it starts by distinguishing conceptually between behavioral convention, i.e. an arbitrary but stable social regularity, and normative convention, i.e. a principle of action prescribing how to behave in a certain type of situation. A game theoretical framework to represent the interrelation between both concepts is then introduced. Finally, this relation is studied experimentally. The main results of the experiment are: (1) normative conventions have to be commonly known and accepted among subjects in order to work as guides to coordinate on behavioral conventions; (2) once subjects follow a normative convention they are highly consistent with it in a repeated environment; (3) efficiency concerns are focal in the type of games studied in this paper.  


Keywords: coordination, convention, consistency, efficiency, experiments.


BIO: Luis Miller is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Córdoba (Spain). He has just finished a thesis on conventions, using evolutionary game theory and experimental economics. He has been visiting researcher in the Strategic Interaction Group of the Max Plank Institute of Economics (Jena, Germany). His main research interests are: conventions and norms, collective action, behavioral game theory and experimental economics. His last two working papers are: Conventions for Implementing Conventions: An Evolutionary and Experimental Analysis (with Susanne Büchner and Werner Güth) and The Double Nature of Conventions: An Experimental Analysis.


There are two papers. Luis will focus on the first paper. The second is a background paper.


Paper I in PDF

Paper II in PDF
Curriculum Vitae in PDF


Wednesday, September 20, 2006 (Special Session)




Presented by Professor Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Summary: Professor Sen’s presentation will be based on his paper “What Do We Want from a Theory of Justice?”  This paper will soon be published in The Journal of Philosophy and due to copyright issues, will not be placed on our website. Only hard copies of this paper will be available.


BIO: Currently Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, Amartya Sen was until recently the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has served as President of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association, and the International Economic Association. He was formerly Honorary President of OXFAM and is now its Honorary Advisor. Born in Santiniketan, India, Professor Sen studied at Presidency College in Calcutta, India, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is an Indian citizen. He has been Professor Economics at Delhi University and at the London School of Economics, the Drummond Professor Political Economy at Oxford University, and a Fellow of All Souls College at Oxford (where he is now a Distinguished Fellow).


For further information, please see


Cosponsored by the Workshop and the Department of Economics (, Indiana University Bloomington.


In addition to his presentation for the Workshop and Economics, Professor Sen has also been invited to give the Patten Lecture. His schedule for the Patten Lecture follows (see


    Wednesday, September 20: "Identity: Enrichment, Violence and Terror," Rawles Hall 100, 7:30pm


    Thursday, September 21: "India: Bits and Pieces and Beyond," Fine Arts Auditorium, 7:30pm


Monday, September 25, 2006




Presented by Professor Itai Sened, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri


Abstract: Recent literature is very skeptic about the future of developing countries and, more specifically, the role of foreign aid as part of the solution. The general picture is grim regardless of how one looks at it. Decades of research have made some serious stride at understanding the problem but very little is available in terms of concrete ideas as to what to do about it. This paper suggests a very fresh look at the problem. Depending on how one reads this paper, one may or may not find in it an answer to the title question but it does suggest a somewhat more optimistic vision for the future (it is true that it is hard to be any more pessimistic than the current state of the art in the literature). Some of the answer to the title question will have to wait for future research, but at the very least, a fresh idea is put forward to suggest where this future research may go.


BIO: Professor Sened is a Professor of Political Science and Department Chair at Washington University in St. Louis. His main interests are comparative theory of institutions, game theory and mathematical modeling. He teaches Undergraduate and Graduate level courses in the Political Science Department. He is also the Director of the Center for New Institutional Social Science, CNISS.


For more information, including current CV, please see:


Paper in PDF

Background Paper by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, "Foreign Aid and Policy Concessions" (hard copy available upon request)

Background Paper by William T. Bianco, Ivan Jeliazkov, and Itai Sened, "The Uncovered Set and the Limits of Legislative Action," published in Political Analysis (Summer 2004) 12(3):256-76. [For those at IU, see IU Libraries at, and search Online Full-Text Journals.]

See also, book by Elinor Ostrom, Understanding Institutional Diversity

PowerPoint Presentation in PDF


Monday, October 2, 2006




Presented by Janne Hukkinen, Laboratory of Environmental Protection, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland, and Visiting Scholar, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Program on Governance for Sustainable Development, University of California, Santa Barbara


Abstract: I discuss a key chapter in my book-in-progress entitled Mosquito Heard in Heaven: Connecting Sustainability Experts. The book is a journey from how individuals understand sustainability to how groups of individuals solve sustainability problems. In our efforts to tackle the sustainability challenge we have overlooked fundamental issues of how our minds work individually and together. Much can be done to help the framing problem in complex sustainability issues: How to craft scenarios of sustainable development that represent acceptable solutions, even when analyzed from the vantage point of different disciplines and professions? How to get experts from radically different disciplines and professions to work together constructively? I have learned that not all meetings end up in a hopeless mish-mash, and it is a combination of experiences from successes and failures that I intend to draw from in developing the ideas in this book.


Chapter 2 (Miserable Quarrel in a Social-Ecological System) illustrates through a case of northern resource management, what a modern sustainability challenge looks like and how experts are trying to grapple with it. The events described are characterized by what must be understood as one of the key features of sustainability: surprise. Reading through official policy documents on sustainable development can leave one with a chalky aftertaste of armchair academics, as if sustainability was all about reigning in the occasional chaos out there with well-thought-out plans grounded in solid predictions. Instead, I think we’re lucky surfers at best. As a foretaste of the storms to come, I recount what began as a minor fraternal fight in a small Lapland village yet erupted into an international conflict between Greenpeace and Stora Enso, a global paper manufacturer. It is an exemplary case of a modern environmental conflict that cuts across spatial and temporal scales: rippling from village to global scale, the gathering story resurrected in its wake what many thought were long-forgotten historical grudges. If we want to get a handle on sustainability, we must understand how small ripples turn into major waves and how to negotiate the waves successfully.


As all storytellers do, I make crucial choices in describing how the conflict unfolds—choices that structure the chapters in the rest of the book. The story in Chapter 2 is a hybrid. The reasoning follows that of Lapland reindeer herders, whose livelihood is at stake. But the concepts and theories used to tell the story come from several disciplines. In structuring the story this way, I want the reader to glimpse what this book is all about, namely, the integration of different kinds of expertise on sustainability. It is a narrative with many sustainability experts, including reindeer herders, forest managers, environmentalists, government officials, corporate heads, researchers, and journalists.


BIO: Dr. Janne Hukkinen is a professor (environmental strategies and technology assessment) at Helsinki University of Technology in Finland and a visiting scholar at University of California, Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (2006). Janne Hukkinen was director and professor at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland (1996-9) and associate professor of environmental management at Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands (1993-6). He is Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in environmental engineering and policy from University of California, Berkeley (1990) and Master of Science (MS) (DI) in sanitary engineering from Helsinki University of Technology (1984). He has post-doctoral experience as a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and as a fellow under the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) / US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Science and Engineering program. Janne Hukkinen won the Harold D. Lasswell award for the best article in volume 23 (1990) of Policy Sciences. He is the author of Institutions in Environmental Management: Constructing Mental Models and Sustainability (Routledge, London, 1999) and co-editor of Reindeer Management in Northernmost Europe: Linking Practical and Scientific Knowledge in Social-Ecological Systems (Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2006). He has published widely in scholarly journals and book chapters on environmental institutions and cognition, sustainability strategies, participatory research and planning, water policy in arid areas, long-term waste management strategies, environmentally sound product concepts, the role of experts in environmental and technology policy, and environmental governance in northern regions.



Paper in PDF

Curriculum Vitae in PDF

Select Publications in PDF

PowerPoint Presentation in PDF


Monday, October 9, 2006




Presented by Professor Robert Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey


Abstract: We define anti-Americanism as a psychological tendency to hold negative views of the United States and of American society in general. Intellectual and policy debates about anti-Americanism can be clarified by distinguishing among opinion, bias, and distrust, and by taking into account a fourfold typology of anti-Americanism, which comes in liberal, social, sovereign-nationalist and radical variants. Grand explanations for anti-Americanism as a single phenomenon are futile because of its heterogeneity: we should speak of anti-Americanisms rather than anti-Americanism. The dazzling variety and contradictions of America – what we call its polyvalence – help to account both for the persistence of anti-Americanism and its characteristic ambivalence. Studying anti-Americanism tells us something about the role of the United States in the world, but it may tell us more about ourselves.


BIO: Robert O. Keohane is Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University. He is the author of After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984) and Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (2002). He is co-author (with Joseph S. Nye, Jr.) of Power and Interdependence (third edition 2001), and (with Gary King and Sidney Verba) of Designing Social Inquiry (1994). He has served as the editor of the journal International Organization  and as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association. He won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, 1989, and the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, 2005. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.


Professor Keohane’s presentation will be based on his paper “Anti-Americanism and American Foreign Policy.” This paper will soon be published in Policy Review and due to copyright issues, will not be placed on our website. Only a hard copy of this paper will be available.


Monday, October 16, 2006




Presented by Professor Bobbi Low, Professor of Resource Ecology, School of Natural Resources & Environment (SNRE), and Professor Carl Simon, Professor of Mathematics, Economics, and Public Policy, and Director, Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Summary: We combine life history theory and complex systems analysis to look at patterns of women's lifetimes under varied conditions. Simple rules interacting with historical and ecological conditions yield rich patterned variation. We examine one such trait, age at first birth, using international data and models based on U.S. data, to explore relationships with life expectancy, lifetime fertility, and age-specific fertility and mortality. We then look at the impact of non-marital first births, using data fro the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, again exploring interactions.




Bobbi S. Low (Ph.D. Evolution & Systematics, U. Texas, 1965) is Professor of Resource Ecology in the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan; and faculty associate at Institute for Social Research (Population Studies), and the Center for Study of Complex Systems. Her research interests center on behavioral ecology and life history theory, and how these constrain not only life history and behavior, but optimal management and conservation efforts. She specializes in the evolution and behavioral ecology of resource acquisition; resource ecology of mating systems; and women's life history variation. Her interdisciplinary interests have lead to two books: Why Sex Matters and (with Elinor Ostrom, Bob Costanza, and James Wilson) Institutions, Ecosystems, and Sustainability, and numerous papers.


For further information, please see,, and


Carl Simon (Ph.D. Mathematics, Northwestern University, 1970) is currently Professor of Mathematics, Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Since 1999, he has also served as Director of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on dynamic models of the spread of communicable diseases, especially HIV, influenza, and bacterial infections -- with a special interest in the role of non-random mixing on the transmission process and most recently on the evolution of antibiotic resistance. He and his research group won the 1994 Temin prize for their work combining mathematical models and empirical data to show the importance of the primary infection period on the transmission of HIV and the Kenneth Rothman Epidemiology Prize for the 2005 paper of the year in Epidemiology.  He has been named the University's LS&A Distinguished Senior Lecturer for 2007. Currently, Simon is also leading research groups exploring sustainable mobility and accessibility.


For further information, please see and  


There are three background papers for this presentation:


Low, Bobbi S., Carl P. Simon, and Kermyt G. Anderson. 2002. “An Evolutinary Ecological Perspective on Demographic Transitions: Modeling Multiple Currencies,” American Journal of Human Biology 14: 149-167. [For those at IU, see IU Libraries at, and search Online Full-Text Journals.]


Low, Bobbi S., Carl P. Simon, and Kermyt G. Anderson. 2003. “The Biodemography of Modern Women: Tradeoffs When Resources Become Limiting.” In The Biodemography of Human Reproduction and Fertility, eds. Joseph Lee Rodgers and Hans-Peter Kohler, 105-134. Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Anderson, Kermyt G. and Bobbi S. Low. 2003. “Nonmarital First Births and Women’s Life Histories.” In The Biodemography of Human Reproduction and Fertility, eds. Joseph Lee Rodgers and Hans-Peter Kohler, 57-86. Kluwer Academic Publishers.


The first paper is the main paper to read – it models women’s life history paths. The second continues to search for any possible advantage to the very delayed age at first birth for women in western developed nations. The third explores how cohort and race/ethnicity affect the impact of having a non-marital first birth.


Since the above papers have been published, only hard copies are available.


Monday, October 23, 2006




Presented by Professor Ali Galaydh, Visiting Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis


Abstract: The post-colonial Somali state, which was a marriage between the former Italian Somaliland and the former British Somaliland, collapsed in January 1991. Increased civil strife crippled the military regime after its defeat by Ethiopia and its allies in the Ogaden war (1977-78). The military defeat and lack of substantial external support emboldened the formation of clan-based armed opposition groups. The putative economic reforms were doomed to fail because of the obtaining poor management capacity, the increasing repression and the resultant resort to violence by the clan-based armed opposition groups.


The eventual collapse of law and order delegitimated the long serving military regime and it was a matter of time before it was driven out of Mogadishu, the capital, not by military means but by mass uprising. The uprooted state institutions, however, were colonial impositions which have not sunk deep roots. Neither the urban-based civil society nor the rural traditional (pastoral) society provided support to the besieged regime or defended the state structures and institutions.


The international community has been striving to bring together the Somali warring factions. More than a dozen peace and national reconciliation conferences have been hosted by members of the international community. The goal has been to re-establish the central state organs but to no avail. The strategy of the re-establishment has been top down (imposition) and, in the main, foreign authored.


Despite the collapse of the central state institutions, Somalia has not descended into a war of all against all. The bulk of the violence has been confined to Mogadishu. The country-side has been relatively peaceful. Traditional kinship and lineage systems have attended to conflict resolutions and the promotion of local peace. Certain sectors of the economy are more vibrant than when there were state organs. Trading within the country, across clan lines, and the neighboring countries is booming and unencumbered. Air transport is available to all the major and medium-sized towns. Modern telecommunications are installed even in small towns and villages. Mobile telephones and the internet are widely distributed and have cheaper rates than any of the neighboring countries. The role of the Somali money wiring companies is perhaps the most significant economic activity in the Somali Diaspora and in the country itself. These companies transfer over a billion dollars annually from North America, Western Europe, Australia, the Gulf states and East Africa to all points in Somalia and the neighboring countries. Because of the telecommunication infrastructure, transfer payments are made within twenty four hours. Some of the firms have already started on-line operations.


These economic activities are embedded in the traditional social structures of kinship and lineage and are framed by Somali culture. In the absence of a functioning modern legal system, the economic and the political systems rely on the traditional contract arrangements (Xeer) and the precepts of the Islamic sharia.


Somalis are homogeneous: They share a common language, culture, kinship and lineage systems and Sunni Islam. Islam has contributed to the identity and culture of the people. It was a major vehicle for the resistance against colonialism and the struggle for independence. A more political Islam at the moment at the vanguard of re-inventing a new Somali state. The defeat of the warlords, who dominated Mogadishu for over a decade and a half by the Islamic Courts Union and their subsequent ascendance, is a new political phenomenon which will apparently have a decisive role in the prospects for peace in the country.


The recreating of a new Somali State has to examine the demand and supply side of the public discourse on the nature and functioning of the new entity. The relevance of traditional structures and processes has to be pragmatically assessed. The prevalence and appropriateness of the colonial heritage have to be evaluated. The history of centralized and decentralized despotism, which characterized post-independence politics, has to be critically examined. The rich experience of post-collapse economy, politics and society has to e mapped out. Such a critical stance will afford us to focus on the indigenous (both traditional and modern) and the adaptable foreign (colonial and post-colonial) for the purposes of political participation, representation and governance.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Cosponsored by the Workshop and the African Studies Program (, Indiana University Bloomington.


Monday, October 30, 2006




Presented by Dr. Eric McLaughlin, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 


Abstract: When new democracies are characterized by a high degree of linguistic diversity, citizen access to the new democratic institutions is dependent on the extent to which those institutions are prepared to mirror or somehow accommodate the diversity of languages spoken by the populations they serve.  This paper focuses attention on an understudied aspect of democratic transition: the democratization of a country's language regime (the set of formal and informal rules governing the use of language for official governance purposes).  As a discipline we are busy amassing a body of knowledge about how, when, and why political regimes change.  In linguistically heterogeneous societies such knowledge is of limited utility unless we also endeavor to understand the workings of language regimes. 


Few countries in the world today understand this fact better than the "new" post-apartheid South Africa.  Although the end of the apartheid regime ushered in a new era of political democracy in 1994, language experts in South Africa today lament how monolingual this new political regime is.  Despite an ambitious and egalitarian Constitutional clause that declares eleven languages as official in South African and mandates that each be given equal weight and status, South African democracy remains, twelve years after its inception, fully accessible only to the English speaking minority.  While the political regime has become remarkably more inclusive, in other words, the country's language regime has not.  In this paper I draw on field research conducted over seven months in South Africa in 2005 in an effort to understand why this is the case.  I construct a research design of three pairs of structurally similar cases (each case being a province or municipality within South Africa) which vary in terms of the degree of success they have enjoyed with respect to language regime change.  The chief finding of the paper is that creative and energetic public entrepreneurship explains most of the successful language regime liberalization South Africa has seen so far, but only when potential "linguistic entrepreneurs" properly understand the perverse incentives faced by members of the general public and elites alike and find ways to work against them.  The paper results in a basic model of language regime change that lays the foundation for exploring a new and crucial component of democratic transitions.


BIO: Eric McLaughlin (Ph.D. Indiana, 2006) is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign.  His research interests center on issues pertaining to democracy and democratization in divided societies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.  His dissertation project analyzed South Africa’s stalled efforts to direct a program of language policy change during and after its transition to democracy in 1994.  Other present interests include the political economy of ethnicity and the intersection of identity and electoral politics in African states.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Monday, November 6, 2006



Presented by Magalie Bourblanc, PhD Student, Political Studies Institute of Paris; Radboud University Nijmegen; and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB


Abstract: In this presentation, we highlight difficulties that could result from governance of common-pool resources ignoring problem construction mechanisms.


Few social problems can directly be transmitted into the political arena. The public agenda most easily accepts topics tied to a pursuit of the general interest (public stake, legitimate concern, etc.). Problem construction is the activity of social groups making their concerns (social problems) understandable and relevant to public authorities. Sometimes this activity (process) may lead organizations far from their initial social project. This is a compromise between the initial social project and agenda-setting rules. It does not mean that the former disappears. Rather, it coexists with the official problem on the agenda.


We distinguish two issues in (public) problem construction: the causal definition of the problem and the consequential definition of the problem (Spector and Kitsuse, 1987; Vlassopoulou, 1999). Like in the “garbage can model” (March and Olsen, 1976) in which solutions preexist the problem, in the same way we can say that the causal problem is defined prior to the consequential problem: very often social groups have a target in sight (a representation of what needs to be changed) before constructing the public problem involved.


The problem (definition) is not a given; it is a resource reacting to new opportunities/constraints. Problem definition evolves greatly especially for environmental problems, which are not only biophysical ones but social problems as well. In this presentation, we argue that focusing on resource units or even resource systems may prove to be insufficient to address the real problems at stake.


In this presentation, we are going to cover issues with the problem definition (construction) process regarding common-pool resources governance in Brittany (France). Participatory (self-governance) experiences have been conducted in the context of the manure policy-making process at the local level. As a contrast to the French case, we will also provide insights from a case study in the Netherlands on the same subject. Our claim is that problem construction analysis would greatly benefit this participatory experience.


BIO: Magalie Bourblanc is currently completing her PhD in Political Science. Her dissertation concerns “manure policies in Brittany (France) and Noord-Brabant (Netherlands)”. She is interested in factors and mechanisms of policy change processes and especially focused on agricultural policies in the face of environmental problems. She is doing institutional analysis of “policy arrangements” and studies linkages between multiple levels of interaction in the European context (Europe, national, local). She also works on current developments in environmental sociology.


For more information, please see the link:


Magalie Bourblanc's paper has been submitted for publication and will not be placed on our website. Only a hard copy of this paper will be available.


Monday, November 13, 2006




Presented by James Nachbaur, PhD Candidate in Economics, Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB


Abstract: Competitive use of common-pool resources dissipates economic rents. Policies to reduce the potentially huge losses from competitive use should respect the diversity of users and resources to be effective. Which characteristics matter? How characteristics such as the degree of people's dependence on resources make community governance of common-pool resources more or less likely is not fully understood despite tremendous amounts of research in many fields. Most of this research relies on case studies. Groundwater stocks are common-pool resources and their importance is growing where water is becoming scarcer. This paper uses a novel data set of 162 Texas counties and eight groundwater stocks to examine specific variables predicted to shape the benefits of groundwater governance or the transactions costs of initiating that governance. To a degree not possible with case studies, this analysis controls for many of the variables the common-pool resource literature identifies as potentially relevant to governance. The data explain much of the variation in which counties have initiated groundwater governance. The impacts on governance of variables such as the depth from which groundwater must be pumped and income inequality should be of interest to economists working on collective action and to people or changing environmental policies in regions with multiple communities or groundwater stocks.

BIO: James Nachbaur is a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research deals with the patterns of rules people put in place to manage groundwater use where higher-level policies allow such governance. He is also active in the robustness working group and the working group on changes in institutions dealing with water in the American west. His interest in water and policy analysis began when he worked in Amman, Jordan for the International Water Management Institute in 2003.

Curriculum Vitae in PDF


Paper in PDF


Thursday, November 16, 2006 (Special Session)




Presented by Anna Zachrisson, Graduate Student, Department of Political Science, Umeå University, Sweden, and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB


Abstract: Nature conservation policies have shifted towards a strong emphasis on local participation and influence in an attempt to reconcile conservation concerns and regional development. To some degree, this development seems to bring power sharing between traditionally strong actors such as the central government and weak ones like local populations. Protected areas are complex common pool resources comprised of different resources (such as for instance trees, fish, wildlife, and aesthetic values) that can be used for different purposes (subsistence, recreation, tourism etc.). User groups are therefore potentially diverse and heterogenous. To understand how the management structure interacts with these complex resource systems it is crucial to analyze degrees of polycentric governance at multiple scales. This presentation focuses on the changes in Swedish nature conservation policy and how they can be analyzed with the IAD framework as a point of departure. The changes will be illustrated with research results from a multi-tier survey and from two case studies of protected area designation processes in the Swedish mountain region.

BIO: Anna Zachrisson is a Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. She is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science at Umeå University, Sweden, where she also completed her M.Sc. in Public Administration and Environmental Science in 2003. From 2003 to 2006, she has been a researcher in the interdisciplinary Mountain Mistra Programme ( Her research examines changes in the Swedish nature conservation policy, in particular the causes, nature and impacts of participatory protected area designation processes. More generally, she is interested in the role of conflicts in the emergence of institutions and in aspects of multi-level governance.


There will not be a formal paper for this session. However, there is a background paper, "Commons Protected for or from the People: Analysis of Strategies to Establish Protected Areas in the Swedish Mountain Region."

Curriculum Vitae in PDF


Background paper in PDF


Monday, November 20, 2006 (Special Session)




Chaired by Elinor Ostrom, Codirector, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, IUB


Subject: Barbara Allen's film focusing on Vincent Ostrom's involvement in drafting the Alaska Constitution.


Summary: For Workshop colleagues who have not yet had the opportunity to see Barbara Allen’s film, we would like to invite you to join us for this special presentation. Allen has spent a large proportion of this past year taping interviews with many colleagues and with Vincent about his contributions to the analysis of public policies. She has put together some of these interviews in a wonderful film that will eventually be available for use in the classroom. Earlier versions were shown at the June conference honoring Vincent entitled Vincent Ostrom: The Quest to Understand Human Affairs and in Professor Elinor Ostrom’s fall Y673 Seminar.


Colleagues are welcome to join us to view the film and then to send any suggestions they may have to Barbara Allen who is also organizing the publication of the third edition of Vincent’s The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration and The Political Theory of a Compound Republic: Designing the American Experiment.


Monday, November 27, 2006




Presented by Professor Howard Rheingold, Lecturer, School of Information, University of California, Berkeley; Department of Communication, Stanford University, California; and Non-resident Fellow, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles


Abstract: Evidence from biology, sociology, economics, political science, computer and information science, anthropology and psychology suggest the feasibility of building an interdisciplinary framework for understanding cooperation. Because of institutional specialization, a program of cooperation studies will not necessarily happen without purposeful action. In order to catalyze the growth of this enterprise, the Cooperation Project has created:


* An open, shared, knowledge base of insights and resources relevant to cooperation and collective action: the Knowledge Commons:

* Several visual maps for customized navigation of the cooperation studies landscape:

* A report on "Technologies of Cooperation":

* A Stanford University course with publicly available lecture videos and readings: 

* The beginnings of a social network of cooperation researchers:


The Cooperation Project, organized by Howard Rheingold and Andrea Saveri (Institute for the Future:,has convened expert workshops, published a syllabus, launched online discussion communities, compiled reports, created and published video lectures, and built software prototypes the beginnings of a Cooperation Toolset. Now we seek to:


* Test and refine these instruments through workshops and further research.

* Attract the best minds in cooperation-related disciplines to help.

* Learn how practitioners can use the knowledge and tools in their domains.

* Make these resources public and invite broad participation.


Indiana University, the home of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom's and Charlotte Hess' work, is central to interdisciplinary work on collective action and commons dilemmas. My talk will provide a broad view of the emerging landscape of cooperation studies, suggest "boundary objects" to facilitate interdisciplinary discourse, and invite others to build upon the work we've done.


BIO: Professor Rheingold was one of the early researchers on computer-generated information. In 1985, he became involved in the WELL, a computer conferencing system. He wrote an influential book about the cultural and political implications of a new communications medium, The Virtual Community (1993 [New edition to be published by MIT Press in 2000]). He is, in fact, credited with inventing the term "virtual community." He has served as the editor of The Whole Earth review and was editor-in-chief of The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog (1994).


In 1994, he was one of the principal architects and the first Executive Editor of HotWired. In 1996, he founded and, with the help of a crew of 15, launched Electric Minds. Electric Minds was named one of the ten best web sites of 1996 by Time magazine and was acquired by Durand Communications in 1997. Since the late 1990s, he has lead a consultancy for virtual community building.


His 2002 book, Smart Mobs, was widely acclaimed as a prescient forecast of the always-on era. The weblog associated with the book has become one of the top 200 of the 8 million blogs tracked by Technorati, and won Utne Magazine's Independent Press Award in 2003. In 2005, he taught a course at Stanford University on A Literacy of Cooperation, part of a long-term investigation of cooperation and collective action that he has undertaken in partnership with the Institute for the Future. He has drawn extensively from the work of Elinor Ostrom and from Hess and Ostrom 2003 (“Ideas, Artifacts, and Facilities: Information as a Common-Pool Resource.” Law and Contemporary Problems 66(1&2) (Winter/Spring): 111-145).


The Cooperation Commons is the site of Rheingold’s ongoing investigation of cooperation and collective action. He teaches Participatory Media/Collective Action at UC Berkeley's School of Information, Digital Journalism at Stanford University, is a non-resident Fellow of the Annenberg School for Communication, and is a visiting Professor at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK.


For further information, please see


Curriculum Vitae in PDF


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Cosponsored by the Workshop and the School of Library and Information Science (, Indiana University Bloomington.


Monday, December 4, 2006




Presented by Dr. Rick Harbaugh, Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Kelley School of Business; Adjunct Faculty, Department of Economics; and Adjunct Faculty, East Asian Languages and Culture, IUB (Coauthor: Ted To, Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Abstract: When can you cheat some people without damaging your reputation among others? We consider a trust game in which a firm encounters a sequence of individuals (customers, employees, creditors, or other firms) from two observationally distinct groups, a minority and a majority. The firm decides whether to opportunistically cheat an individual for short-term gain or be fair in order to maintain the long-term benefit of a good reputation. For firms of intermediate patience we find that there are two coalition-proof equilibria - a solidarity equilibrium in which everyone stops doing business with a firm if it cheats anyone, and a discrimination equilibrium in which the majority stops doing business with the firm only if it cheats a member of the majority. Discrimination is directed against the minority since minority players are rarer and the long-term benefits of a reputation for not exploiting them are correspondingly smaller.

BIO: Rick Harbaugh is assistant professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and an adjunct professor in the Economics department and in the East Asian Languages and Culture department. He received his M.A. from National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. His research concentrates on games with asymmetric information. His recent work considers how understatement can arise in signaling and disclosure games ("countersignaling"), and how comparative statements can be credible in multidimensional cheap talk games ("comparative cheap talk"). More information is available at


Paper in PDF


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