Spring 2005 Colloquia



Colloquia during Spring 2005:




Monday, January 24, 2005


Presented by Karol Soltan, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, College Park

This paper proposes a way to integrate the rational choice approach with an account of legitimacy within a framework for the understanding of the microstructure of power. I impose two kinds of conditions on this effort.  It should serve the explanatory functions of positive social science, incorporating rational choice models as one alternative. And it should serve a normative, action guiding, function, which builds on what I take to be the most important normative lessons of the politics of the 20th century.

The framework allows us to identify a distinctive set of resources (I call them public), which are crucial for the understanding of legitimacy, and for the understanding of the power of the past (which in turn is also relevant to the understanding of legitimacy). The normative theory in this framework centers on an attempt to identify real moral forces, elements of power structures, which are sources of legitimacy. I aim to do so in a way that allows two kinds of continuities: with the empirical study of felt legitimacy in a roughly Weberian style, and with the development of a system of universal human rights.

BIO: Karol Soltan teaches in the Department of Government and Politics and in the Committee for Politics, Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland in College Park. His recent publications include a series of edited volumes, among them Citizen Competence and Democratic Institutions, Institutions and Social Order, and Politics from Anarchy to Democracy: Rational Choice in Political Science. He is working on a book with the provisional title The Ideal Citizen.

In addition to research and teaching he has made a number of forays into the real world. He helped to develop the public policy program and a senior executive training program at the National School of Public Administration in Poland. He served as the Deputy Director of the Department of Political, Constitutional and Electoral Affairs of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. As part of that job he also served for two months as Acting Cabinet Member for Political Affairs in the Transitional Government of East Timor. Most recently he was part of a team helping USAID develop their program designed especially for “failing” and “failed” states.

Paper in PDF

Monday, January 31, 2005


Presented by David Laitin, James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, CA

Abstract: Why suicide attacks? Though rebels often kill coreligionists, they seldom use suicide attacks to do so. Though rebels typically target poor countries, suicide attacks are just as likely to target rich democracies. Though many groups have grievances, suicide attacks are favored by the radical religious. We model the choice of tactics by rebels. We first ask what a suicide attacker would have to believe to be deemed rational. We then embed the attacker and other operatives in a club good model which emphasizes the function of voluntary religious organizations as providers of local public goods. The sacrifices which these groups demand solve a free-rider problem in the cooperative production of public goods, as in Iannaccone (1992). These sacrifices make clubs well suited for organizing suicide attacks where defection by operatives (including the attacker) endanger the entire organization. Thus radical religious groups can be effective dispatchers of suicide bombers if they chose to do so. The model also analyzes the choice of suicide attacks as a tactic, predicting that suicide will be used when targets are well protected and when damage is great. Those predictions are consistent with the patterns described above. The model has testable implications for tactic choice of terrorists and for damage achieved by different types of terrorists, which we find to be consistent with the data. The analysis has clear implications for economic policy to contain suicide terrorism.

BIO: David D. Laitin is the Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his BA from Swarthmore College in 1967 and his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 1974. He has conducted field research in Somalia, Nigeria, Spain and Estonia. His books include Politics, Language and Thought: The Somali Experience (1977), Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Religious Change among the Yoruba (1986), Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa (1992), and Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad (1998). He is currently working in collaboration with James Fearon on a project seeking to account for civil war incidence throughout the world since 1945.

Co-Sponsored by the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University.

Paper in PDF

Monday, February 7, 2005


Testing the Separability of Preferences in Legal Decision Making

Presented by Eileen Braman, Assistant Professor Department of Political Science, and Affiliated Faculty, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: One hundred fifteen law students were given a mock brief with identical legal arguments on both sides of a standing dispute in litigation involving restrictions on political expression of public employees. The content of the expression at issue (pro-choice vs. pro-life) and the jurisdiction where the case was pending (with vs. without controlling authority on the standing issue) were experimentally manipulated. Participants' policy views on (1) abortion, (2) free speech, and (3) Hatch Act restrictions were measured to assess their influence on the standing decision. In line with traditional notions of legal reasoning, participants were able to separate their views on Hatch Act restrictions from the standing decision. Opinions on free speech, however, influenced judgments consistent with attitudinal hypotheses. Also, participants’ opinions on abortion interacted with speech content to influence judgments – but in a manner not wholly consistent with legal or attitudinal accounts of decision making.

BIO: Eileen Braman received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2004 and her J.D. from Fordham University in 1996. Her dissertation, “Motivated Reasoning in Leal Decision-Making” investigates the cognitive processes involved in legal reasoning. In it she explores how policy preferences interact with case facts and accepted legal norms to shape judgments. Professor Braman’s research interests in American politics include political decision-making (broadly defined), Congress/Court relations and the determinants of public support for government regulation. Her teaching interests include Constitutional Law, Judicial Process and Political Psychology.

Paper in PDF

Monday, February 14, 2005


Report on a Recent Conference in Ahmedabad

Presented by Ravi Kanbur, T. H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor of Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Summary: Professor Ravi Kanbur will make an informal presentation discussing some of the key issues arising from a conference he co-organized jointly with SEWA and with WIEGO.  The conference rationale, program, and papers can all be downloaded from

BIO: Ravi Kanbur is T. H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He holds an appointment tenured both in the Department of Applied Economics and Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and in the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate in economics from the University of Oxford. He has taught at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Essex, Warwick, Princeton, and Columbia.

Ravi Kanbur has also served on the staff of the World Bank, as Economic Adviser, Senior Economic Adviser, Resident Representative in Ghana, Chief Economist of the African Region of the World Bank, and Principal Adviser to the Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Professor Kanbur's main areas of interest are public economics and development economics. His work spans conceptual, empirical, and policy analysis. He is particularly interested in bridging the worlds of rigorous analysis and practical policy making. His vita lists over 100 publications, covering topics such as risk taking, inequality, poverty, structural adjustment, debt, agriculture, and political economy. He has published in the leading economics journals such as American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory, and Economic Journal.

The honors he has received include the Quality of Research Discovery Award of the American Agricultural Economics Association and an Honorary Professorship at the University of Warwick.

Ravi Kanbur was born in India and brought up in India and in England. He is married to Margaret Grieco, Professor of Transport and Society at Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Visiting Professor in the Institute of African Development, Cornell University.

For more information, please see

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, February 21, 2005



Presented by Michele Villinski, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Management, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN


Summary:Quality and quantity of water supplies are emerging as pressing concerns in many areas of the U.S. and the world, making efficient allocation of water a crucial issue for economic analysis. Water allocation mechanisms must be flexible enough to respond to changes in quality, quantity, location, and timing of both water supply and water demand. Option contracts for water are emerging in some U.S. states as institutional and legal modifications allow water users to devise new mechanisms to increase reliability of water supply in dry years. Option contracts for water, though, are structurally distinct from financial derivatives and often entail a lengthy lifespan and the opportunity for multiple exercise. The Black-Scholes option-valuation framework is appropriate for options with simple payoffs but the complicated structure of water options requires an innovative computational algorithm. Adoption of the Black-Scholes assumption of geometric Brownian motion in the underlying asset price is also questionable in the scenario of water markets. In this paper I present the framework and results of a finite-horizon, discrete-time, stochastic dynamic programming methodology for valuing multiple-exercise option contracts. The analysis examines a call option that can be exercised in any seven of fifteen years, but not more than once per year. I use data from short-term water markets in Colorado and the Texas Lower Rio Grande to estimate parameters for two different price processes: mean reversion and geometric Brownian motion.  Key findings of the analysis include: 1) non-zero contract values for all cases, 2) higher contract values under geometric Brownian motion than under mean reversion, 3) greater sensitivity to price process parameters than to discount rate in the mean reverting case, and 4) institutional context of the short-term water markets influences water price uncertainty.


For background information, please see the following.


A brief paper on one of the topics of Professor Villinski’s presentation:


Villinski, M.T. "Valuing Multiple Exercise Options: A Methodology and Application to Texas Data." Selected Paper, American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting. August 2004. See


Three papers of inspiration on option contracts for water:


Howitt, R.E. "Spot Prices, Option Prices and Water Markets: An Analysis of Emerging Markets in California." Markets for Water: Potential and Performance. K. William Easter, Mark W. Rosegrant, and Ariel Dinar, eds., pp.119-40. Massachusetts: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.


Watters, P.A. "Efficient Pricing of Water Transfer Options: Non-Structural Solutions for Reliable Water Supplies." PhD Dissertation: University of California-Riverside, 1995.


Michelsen, A.M., and R.A. Young. "Optioning Agricultural Water Rights for Urban Water Supplies During Drought." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 75(November 1993):1010-1020.


Background on water markets in Texas:


Yoskowitz, D.W. "Spot Market for Water Along the Rio Grande: Opportunities for Water Management." Natural Resources Journal 39,no.2(Spring 1999):345-355.


Chang, C., and R.C. Griffin. "Water Marketing as a Reallocative Institution in Texas." Water Resources Research 28,no.3(March 1992):879-890.


BIO: Michele T. Villinski is Assistant Professor of Economics and Management at DePauw University where she teaches courses on environmental and resource economics, applied game theory, and microeconomics.  Previously, she taught at the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas University.  Dr. Villinski received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Her primary areas of interest are environmental and natural resource economics and international development.  She has consulted for the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and the Ford Foundation and conducted research on family planning services and HIV/AIDS education with Family Health International.  Dr. Villinski’s current policy-relevant research questions include how to value market-based mechanisms for allocating water and what role the U.S. government should play in regulating agricultural biotechnology products.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Monday, February 28, 2005



Policy Credibility without Public Enforcement


Presented by Armando Razo, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, and Affiliated Faculty, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington


Abstract: I propose a theory of selective credible commitments in which dictators can credibly commit to private policies with the use of social networks that align the interests of economic and political actors to respect property rights.  My theory identifies three factors that affect a dictator's ability to make credible commitments.  First, the distribution of power will determine the availability of a critical mass of third party enforcers (influential political actors) that can punish government opportunism.  Second, the distribution of wealth in society will determine the availability of rents to help pay for private protection.   Finally, there is a need for a governance structure to encourage long-term selective credible commitments, ensuring not only that the dictator stays in power for a long time, but also that there exists a long-lived pool of private enforcers.


BIO: Professor Razo's research interests are in the field of comparative politics, with a concentration on the political economy of development. His research and teaching center around two themes: (1) how political institutions in developing countries affect economic performance; and (2) the study of political institutions and political organization in dictatorships. He teaches courses in comparative politics, positive political economy, and Latin American politics. He is currently working on a book manuscript about social networks and political institutions in dictatorships. He is co-author with Stephen Haber and Noel Maurer of The Politics of Property Rights (2003). He has published articles in World Politics, the Journal of Economic History, and the Journal of Latin American Studies.


Appendix in PDF


Paper in PDF 


Monday, March 7, 2005




Presented by T.K. Ahn, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, and Affiliated Faculty, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington (coauthors: R. Mark Isaac and Timothy C. Salmon, Florida State University)


Abstract: While the rules governing the formation of groups engaging in collective action may have significant impact on group size and behavior of members, most experiments on public goods have been conducted with the subjects in fixed groups or of fixed sizes.  We study endogenous formation of groups in a public-goods provision game by allowing subjects to change groups under three sets of rules: free entry and exit, restricted entry and free exit, and free entry and restricted exit.  We find that the rules governing entry and exit do have a significant impact on individual behavior and group-level outcomes.


BIO: T.K. Ahn is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Florida State University. After receiving his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2002, he spent two years at the Workshop as Research Associate until he moved to Tallahassee, Florida.  His main research interests include social capital, experimental studies of social dilemmas, and modelling of preference evolution.


Paper in PDF


Monday, March 7, 2005 (Special Session)


Horizons of Knowledge Lecture



A Historico-Sociological Approach


Presented by Venelin Ganev, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Miami University of Ohio


Summary: The presenter will discuss the periodization of postcommunist development and propose a vantage point that may help us distinguish between various “phases.” He will offer an analytical interpretation of the first “phase,” which he calls “early postcommunism.” This interpretation revolves around one central theoretical theme: the reconfiguration of state structures in the formerly socialist countries. He argues that a clearer understanding of the ways in which infrastructures of governance evolves would enable us to grasp the dynamic and general directionality of political and institutional changes in Eastern Europe after 1989.


BIO: Venelin Ganev is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Miami University. His primary research interests include postcommunist politics, the historical sociology of state-building, constitution-making and judicial review, and the political evolution of ethnic minority parties in the Balkans.


Sponsored by Horizons of Knowledge and the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute, Department of Political Science, and Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

Paper in PDF


Monday, March 21, 2005




Presented by:

Judge Thomas Stewart, Superior Court (retired), State of Alaska, First Judicial District, Juneau, Alaska, and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis; and Vincent Ostrom, Founding Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and Arthur F. Bentley Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington


Moderated by:

Amos Sawyer, Associate Director and Research Associate, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington


Summary: The colloquium discussion will be about the place of constitutional choice in civic enlightenment.  Stewart and Ostrom participated in the Alaska Constitutional Convention of 1955-56.  Sawyer was active in efforts to fashion a constitution for Liberia.  Stewart is currently writing a book on the crafting of the Alaska Constitution.




Judge Thomas Stewart


Thomas Stewart received his B.A. in law from Yale Law School in 1950 and his M.A. in international studies from Johns Hopkins University in 1947.  He was Judge of the Superior Court, First Judicial District, State of Alaska, and presiding judge of the district until his retirement in 1981.  Other positions held are:

1983-1993: Member, Alaska Code Revision Commission

1961-1966: Administrative Director, Alaska Court System

1959-1960: State Senator, First Alaska State Legislature; Chairman of State Affairs Committee and member of Judiciary Committee

1956-1961: Private practice of law at Juneau, Alaska

1955-56: Executive Officer, Alaska Statehood Committee; Secretary of Alaska Constitutional Convention

1955-56: Member, House of Representatives, Territorial Legislature of Alaska and Chairman, joint House-Senate Committee on Statehood and Federal Relations

1951-54: Assistant Attorney General, Territory of Alaska


Professor Vincent Ostrom


Vincent Ostrom is the Founding Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and Arthur F. Bentley Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Indiana University.  He received a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA in 1950.  He began his academic career at the University of Wyoming in 1945, and came to IU as a Professor in 1964.  In 1973, he and his wife, Elinor Ostrom, founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.


Following the publication of his dissertation on Water and Politics (1953), he wrote a number of articles on water law, policy, and organization in the west.  He has served as a consultant to the Wyoming Legislative Interim Committee and the Tennessee Water Policy Commission; as a consultant on Natural Resources for the Alaska Constitutional Convention and on the Study of Resource Management and Economic Development for the Territory of Hawaii; and served as a member and vice-chairman of the Oregon State Water Resources Board.  Between California and Indiana, he worked with Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C., and later, as a consultant to the National Water Commission completed a major study of the Southern California water industry (1972).


In 1991, he received from the American Political Science Association a Special Achievement Award for significant contributions to the study of federalism.  At the 1999 American Political Science Association Meeting, he received the 1999 award for the Best Book on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations from the APSA Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations for his book entitled The Political Theory of a Compound Republic.  On August 18, 2003, at the International Associations for the Study of Common Property (IASCP) Northern Polar Conference, he received the Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award from the Institute of the North for his vital role in the drafting of the Natural Resource Article in the Alaskan Constitution (the first and only state constitution to contain such an article).  On November 7, 2003, he was co-recipient with Elinor Ostrom of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order’s Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of their individual contributions and their joint work with the Workshop.


He is author of The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration ([1973] 1989), The Political Theory of a Compound Republic ([1971] 1987), The Meaning of American Federalism (1991), The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies (1997), and coauthor and contributor to numerous other works.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.  However, there is a background paper by Thomas Stewart.


Paper in PDF


Friday, March 25, 2005 (Special Session)



An Institutional Analysis


Presented by Professor Rustem Kadyrzhanov, Head of the Department of Political Science, Institute of Philosophy and Political Science, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, and Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Indiana University, Bloomington


Abstract: The specific character of our study of the processes and institutes of decentralization and local self-government in Kazakhstan lies in that analyzed processes and institutes have not yet acquired any certainty and clarity. The modern state of the public administration system in Kazakhstan is characterized by a high level of its centralization. The centralization of the state power in Kazakhstan is determined by a number of historic and social-political causes, and is an unavoidable condition for the formation of the statehood and political system in the newly independent states.


However, today in Kazakhstan and elsewhere in the post-soviet states, the centralization of the state government provokes authoritarian features of the political regime accompanied by the bureaucratization of social life, a high level of corruption, crime, the absence of the public control over the authorities, etc. In this situation, it has become more and more evident for the public opinion that the decentralization of the state power is one of the main ways for the democratization and effectiveness of the political system of Kazakhstan.


Despite this, the state leadership is reluctant to decentralize the public administration and to introduce the local self-government in the localities. There are a lot of declarations spoken and written by the state leadership about its willingness and determination to carry into effect these reforms, but the real situation in the process of the decentralization, according to the head of the state, is still in the zero cycle.


As to the local self-government, it is totally absent in Kazakhstan. The chapter 8 of the Constitution, approved by the popular referendum in 1995, declares the existence of the local self-government in Kazakhstan. Its introduction into practice must be started, according to the special part of the Constitution, after the adoption of a law of the local self-government, which must be proceeded in two years, i.e. at least in 1997. Still, however, we do not have such a law. As a result, all levels, including the local, of the public administration in Kazakhstan belong to the state government.


One of the effective approaches in the study of this situation is neo-institutionalism. Institutional analysis helps to study the process of decentralization in Kazakhstan determining, first, the main actors of this process. The post-soviet experience demonstrates that in the processes of decentralization and local self-government there have formed and actively operate three main groups of the actors. They are the central elite, regional elites and the actors of local self-government. 


Analyzing the current situation in Kazakhstan, one can separate out two of the three groups of the actors of the decentralization and local self-government. These two groups consist of the central and regional elites. The central elite have more exposed itself as an agent of the decentralization.


Regional elites play an important role in the analyzed processes, because in the course of the decentralization they must take a number of duties from the central government and, at the same time, pass part of their own duties to the lower authorities. Since the duties are connected with resources, that means, consequently, an important role of regional elites and authorities in the redistribution of resources in the national scale. The redistribution of duties and resources would be not only within the state government system, but between regional authorities and local self-government as well.


Regarding local actors as the third main group of the actors of decentralization and local self-government, they are almost absent in modern Kazakhstan. It is not surprising keeping in mind the absence of the local self-government institute in the country. So far it is possible to mention only potential agents of the local self-government. One can find some of them within the ranks of the democratic opposition. Some democratic groups perform as proponents of the local self-government. This stand of the opposition may be explained as a consequence of the suggested by them necessity for elections of the heads of executive authorities in all levels of the public administration. The ruling elite opposes to these requests of the opposition, because the existing state government system is based on the appointment of the heads of the executive authorities by the president and high-ranking heads of the executive authorities. On this basis, the executive authorities form the political regime and control the main resources of Kazakhstan. 


The introduction of the processes of decentralization and local self-government will lead to the emergence of the third main group of the actors of public administration and, consequently, to the inevitable growth of the competition between the central, regional and local groups for the political, economic, and social resources. It can be foreseen, therefore, the emergence of conflicts between and within the groups, which are inevitable in the situation of the redistribution of resources.   


Fearing these conflicts and not wishing to lose the control over the resources of Kazakhstan, the ruling elite plans to introduce local self-government in the rural localities of the lower level, i.e. villages, settlements, etc. It is easier to do for the central and regional leaders, because the lower level rural localities remain in the transitional period out of real resources to use effectively their local autonomy and self-government. As to urban areas, where the real resources are concentrated, the leadership of Kazakhstan is not hurry to introduce there local self-government. Such a policy leads to the discredit of the idea of local self-government in Kazakhstan.


BIO: Dr. Rustem Kadyrzhanov is a visiting Fulbright scholar at the Central Eurasian Studies Department, Indiana University. In Kazakhstan, he is Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science, Institute of Philosophy and Political Science. He is working out projects “National Idea of Kazakhstan” and “Democratization of the Local Administration in Kazakhstan”. He is also Professor at the Abylay-khan Kazakh University of International Relations and World Languages. He received his Kandidat of Science degree in 1983. He received his Doctor of Science degree in 1992. Both degrees were received for his studies in methodology of science. In 2001 he received his Doctor of Science degree in political science. All degrees were conferred upon him by the Institute of Philosophy and Political Science, Kazakh Academy of Sciences. In 1999, he was a visiting scholar at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. He published his monograph Consolidation of the Political System of Kazakhstan (in Russian) in 1999. He is the author of more than 50 papers published in USA, UK, Germany, China, Russia and Kazakhstan.


Paper in PDF 


Monday, March 28, 2005



Reciprocity, Punishment, Guilt, and Patience


Presented by: Michael Price, Post-Doctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; Oliver Curry, Darwin@LSE Research Fellow, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics, and Post-Doctoral Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Jade Price, Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Santa Barbara


Abstract: Over the past two to three months, we have been running public good game experiments at the Indiana University Interdisciplinary Experimental Laboratory.  While each of us has investigated a distinct set of questions over the course of this research, we have tried to integrate our separate projects into a single cohesive study.  We are all concerned about the motivations of cooperators, and we are all interested in understanding the ultimate evolutionary origins of these motivations.  M. Price focused on reciprocal altruism, and his results suggest that subjects will contribute (1) to the public good, and (2) towards the punishment of low contributors to this public good, when they expect co-subjects to reciprocate their contributions to these respective causes.  Curry’s research looked at discount rates (the extent to which an immediate payoff is valued over a future payoff), and found that subjects who were less patient about waiting for a future payoff were also more inclined to defect in the public good game.  J. Price’s project investigated whether guilt may function as an emotional disincentive that motivates people to avoid damaging their cooperative relationships.  She found that relatively guilt-prone individuals were relatively motivated to avoid defecting in the public good game.




Oliver Curry is a post-doctoral Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University. He is also a Darwin@LSE Research Fellow in the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics. Oliver is interested in evolutionary explanations of behaviour, especially human social behaviour. His PhD thesis was on the evolution of human moral sentiments. The thesis used recent developments in evolutionary game theory, animal behaviour and evolutionary psychology to provide a comprehensive framework in which to understand human moral decision-making. He is currently working on turning some of the predictions that evolutionary theory makes about human moral psychology into tractable experiments, and putting them to the test.

Jade Price is a Ph.D. candidate in biosocial anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she is affiliated with the UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology.  Her studies are supported by fellowships from the University of California and the National Science Foundation, and her dissertation research is an examination of the pro-social emotions, particularly guilt and shame, as adaptations for the maintenance of cooperative relationships.  Her work incorporates perspectives from anthropology, cognitive and social psychology, and evolutionary biology. 


Michael Price is a post-doctoral fellow, jointly sponsored by the Indiana University Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and the Santa Fe Institute.  He is affiliated with the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his Ph.D. in 2003 in biosocial anthropology.  His dissertation research, which focused on psychological adaptations for collective action participation, was conducted among Venezuelan Yanaomamö, Ecuadorian Shuar, and Western undergraduates.  He is currently working on integrating cross-cultural experimental economic methods with evolutionary psychological theory, and is collaborating in designing a simulation of the evolution of collective action via reciprocal altruism and punishment.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.  However, there is a brief summary paper available.


Summary in PDF


Thursday, March 31, 2005 (Special Session)



The Prospects and Challenges of Institutionalizing Boundaries for Managing Community Dams in the Upper East Region, Ghana


Presented by: Francis Z. L. Bacho, Director, Field Practical Programme and Community Relations and Senior Lecturer, Department of Planning, Land Economy, and Rural Development, University for Development Studies, Navrongo, Ghana, and Visiting Fulbright Scholar, IDCE, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts


Abstract: Increasingly, over burdened governments in Africa are relinquishing the management of what rightly are common-pool resources to community groups. In Ghana, community water systems, both for drinking and productive purposes, are being transferred to community groups after many years of grappling with confounding problems stemming from the intricate institutional setups, land conflicts and complex user group processes. But can the communities succeed where the almighty government with its paraphernalia of bureaucratic structures, technical and professional expertise, and all the law enforcing agencies failed? This paper focuses on one aspect of the problem – the issue of boundaries. The paper addresses three interrelated questions, i.e., how do communities: (1) delimit the territoriality of their irrigation schemes, (2) define authority boundaries within the context of the traditional authority and land ownership system, and (3) define the limits of each individual user within the context of competing users such that conflicts are minimized?


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Monday, April 4, 2005




Presented by Hilton Root, Freeman Professor of Economics, Claremont Graduate University and Pitzer College, Claremont, CA



Dr. Root will be discussing chapter 1 of his book Capital and Collusion: The Political Logic of Global Economic Development.


Summary of book: Why does capital formation often fail to occur in developing countries? In Capital and Collusion, Hilton Root explores the political incentives that either foster growth or steal nations’ growth prospects. 


The book examines the frontier between risk and uncertainty, analyzing the forces driving development in both developed and undeveloped regions. In the former, Root argues, institutions reduce everyday economic risks to levels low enough to make people receptive to opportunities for profit, stimulating developments in technology and science. Not so in developing countries. There, institutions that specialize in sharing risk are scarce.  Money hides under mattresses and in teapots, creating a gap between a poor nation’s savings and its investment.  As a consequence, the developing world faces a growing disconnect between the value of its resources and the availability of finance. 


What are the remedies for eliminating this disparity? Root shows us how to close the growing wealth gap among nations by building institutions that convert uncertainty into risk.  Comparing China to India, Latin America to East Asia and contemporary to historical cases, he offers lessons that can help the World Bank and International Monetary Fund tackle the political incentives that are the source of poor governance in developing nations.


BIO: Dr. Hilton Root, an academic and policy specialist in international political economy and development, joined the Faculty of Pitzer, a member of Claremont Colleges, as Freeman Fellow from June 2003 to June 2005. Before joining, he served the current administration as U.S. Executive Director Designate of the Asian Development Bank, and as senior advisor on development finance to the Department of the Treasury. Dr. Root was Director and Senior Fellow of Global Studies at the Milken Institute and was a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Economic Growth and Democracy at the Hoover Institution. His areas of expertise are International Economics, Global Economic Development, Economic Policy Reform, Asian Affairs, and North-South Relations.


As a policy expert, Dr. Root advises the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, the World Bank, the UNDP, the OECD, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Treasury Department, and USAID.  He has completed projects in 23 countries. The analytical framework he contributed to the World Bank’s Asian Miracle study, 1993, was part of the effort to put institutions on the development agenda. While at the ADB as chief advisor on governance, he was the principal author of the ADB’s Board-approved governance policy. He presided over a committee on governance indicators at the OECD and initiated the restructuring of the Sri Lanka civil service as an advisor to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. He was one of the principal contributors to the design of the Millennium Challenge Account of the Bush administration.


As an academic, he has taught at the University of Michigan, California Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University. Dr. Root has written and lectured extensively, publishing six books and more than 100 articles. He is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal Asia, the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. He has published and presented in both the English and the French languages and has been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.


He has been awarded honors for The Key to the East Asian Miracle: Making Shared Growth Credible (with J. Edgardo Campos), which won the 1997 Charles H. Levine Award for best book of the year by the International Political Science Association. The Social Sciences History Association awarded him the 1995 best book prize of its Economic History Section for The Fountain of Privilege: Political Foundations of Markets in Old Regime France and England.  From the American Historical Association he received the Chester Higby Prize, 1986, for the best article among those published during the previous two years. He is on the board of a number of organizations and journals, including the Open Society Institute, Center for Public Integrity, and Review of Pacific Basin Markets and Policies.  Dr. Root received his doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1983.


Since the chapter for this session is soon due to be published in his book Capital and Collusion it will not be added to our website.  Hard copies of the paper will be available at the Workshop. However, there is a table of contents available.




Dr. Root’s visit to Indiana and Ohio April 3-8 is co-sponsored by the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Bloomington; Department of Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus.


At the Department of Political Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, he will be discussing chapter 10 “Mobilizing the State as Public Risk Manager” on Tuesday, April 5.


At the Department of Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he will be discussing chapter 3 “Politics and Economic Structure” on Friday, April 7, at Cavanaugh Hall, room 438.



Table of Contents in PDF


Monday, April 11, 2005




Presented by Beate Sissenich, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington


Abstract: This paper challenges overly optimistic claims about the power of nonstate actors in cross-border networks that link them with states and intergovernmental organizations. In a most-likely case design, the paper examines the social policy network between the European Union (EU) and Poland and Hungary prior to accession. The analysis focuses on two dimensions: whether states act as gatekeepers and whether national borders restrain communications. The paper demonstrates that while nonstate actors easily communicate with intergovernmental organizations such as the EU, contacts fail to cut across national borders. Network data show that the EU, as an intergovernmental actor, significantly controls the flow of communication, a fact that runs counter to the notion of networks as fluid entities that enable all actors to link freely with others. Both state and intergovernmental actors have an interest in network construction and control. Only by empirically tracking network contacts, the paper argues, will we be able to estimate the capacities and limits of nonstate actors in transnational politics.

Paper in PDF 

Monday, April 18, 2005



Preliminary Findings


Two Ph.D. students associated with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and CIPEC (Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change) will be the speakers for this session.


Presented by Derek Reiners and Abigail M. York, Indiana University, Bloomington


Name: Derek Reiners

Dissertation Title: Institutional Effects on Decision-Making and Performance in Public Land Agencies: The Case of Wildfire in the Interior West of the United States


Abstract: This project examines the way in which public land agencies in the American West are responding to the intensifying wildfire crisis.  Due to a significant increase in forest density and fuel accumulation in many western ecosystems, fuel reduction has become the guiding principle for fire management within public land agencies.  However, efforts to implement fuel reduction continue to encounter a multitude of obstacles.  This is an especially puzzling policy problem for two reasons: 1) the importance of fuel reduction has been understood by agency officials for several decades now, and 2) few, if any, policy actors with a stake in forest resources benefit from catastrophically destructive fires.  Thus there exists knowledge and the incentive to cooperate, both, which one might expect, would drive the effort to reduce fuels in high risk areas.  Yet progress is slow, and fire suppression, arguably the primary cause of increased forest density and fuel accumulation in the first place, continues to dominate fire management activities.  Through documentary research and interviews with stakeholders and public officials at the national and state level, this project examines the decision-making process within the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and state land agencies in six states in the Rocky Mountain region.  A comparative examination of decision-making within these agencies helps this project identify key factors which are disabling to a nation-wide effort to reduce the magnitude and costs of wildland fires.


There will not be a formal paper for Derek Reiners.


Name: Abigail M. York

Dissertation Title: Land Use Institutions in an Urbanizing Landscape


Abstract: Development of land use can be controlled through public means such zoning or through private agreements such as property owners’ associations, conservation easements and contracts.  This dissertation investigates land use institutions in an urbanizing landscape, specifically zoning’s impact on land use change and fragmentation, citizen led monitoring of neighborhood zoning violations, alternatives to zoning, and entrepreneurial citizens’ development of alternative land use institutions.  Five conclusions are derived from this study.  First, zoning is driving some conversion of land to urban uses, although this may be due to the types of zoning rules that are adopted.  Second, zoning could be used more effectively to reduce forest fragmentation.  Third, adoption of online GIS technology could improve zoning enforcement through a reduction in citizen monitoring costs.  Fourth, viable alternatives to zoning exist for open space preservation and cooperative management.  Finally, government insensitivity and changing citizen preferences drive the demand for alternative institutions.  Land use institutions in urbanizing landscapes can protect community resources, but communities need to be more conscious about their decisions regarding institution creation, implementation, and enforcement in order to control the urbanizing process and reduce unwanted effects.


There will not be a formal paper for Abigail York.


Monday, April 25, 2005



Preliminary Findings


Three Ph.D. students associated with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and CIPEC (Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change) will be the speakers for this session.


Presented by Oyebade (Kunle) Oyerinde, Ashok Regmi, and Jianxun Wang, Indiana University, Bloomington


Name: Oyebade (Kunle) Oyerinde

Dissertation Title: The Constitution of Order Among the Yoruba of Nigeria


Abstract: Understanding the way human beings constitute order has remained one of the central puzzles in Political Science. This problem is more profound in Africa where many scholars have classified all African “ethnic” societies broadly into two: (i) acephalous societies without centralized authorities and (ii) autocephalous systems with a single head. The Yoruba “ethnic group” of Nigeria has been regarded as an example of an autocephalous system (Lloyd 1962; Akinjogbin 2002). The idea of homogeneity across the Yoruba people of Nigeria is misleading because violent conflicts have been breaking out between Oyo and Ife elements in the Yoruba community of Ile-Ife since 1849 with negative implications for productive entrepreneurship. Other Yoruba communities of Nigeria, such as Ibadan and Abeokuta have not experienced similar violence even though they share relatively similar ecological conditions with Ile-Ife and have always been serving as homes to diverse Yoruba elements. Unlike Ile-Ife, both Ibadan and Abeokuta have developed basic industrial and commercial friendliness. This is puzzling. My study represented an effort to unravel this puzzle by examining how dominants beliefs in three Yoruba communities of Nigeria such as Ile-Ife, Ibadan and Abeokuta have influenced their institutional arrangements so as to facilitate or militate against the creation of a living process of cooperation among the Yoruba people in these communities. My findings indicated that cooperation for solving shared problems is more likely in communities where dominant beliefs enable diverse individuals to experience themselves as equals, to base social mobility on personal achievements rather than birth and to have a shared understanding about their institutional arrangements as fair ordering principles.


There will not be a formal paper for Oyebade (Kunle) Oyerinde.


Name: Ashok Regmi

Dissertation Title: The Role of Heterogeneity in Collective Action: A Look at the Irrigation Systems in the Chitwan Valley Nepal


Abstract: Despite many valuable lessons that have been learnt regarding resource and resource user attributes there are some relationships that have yet to be understood. One such confounding issue has been the impact of heterogeneity among the users of a community-based natural resource. Traditional commons research has mostly assumed the prevalence of homogeneity among resource users, however, it is known that differences (e.g. in socio-economic attributes, natural resource endowments physical circumstances etc) can be present. It is mostly under assumptions of Homogeneity that researchershave been able to collect evidence that shows that groups have been able to successfully self-organize (Ostrom 1990; Ostrom Gardner Walker, 1994; McKean 1992; Bromley 1992). What impact does heterogeneity have on collective action is an issue that is not yet fully understood and is the focus of much contemporary research in the common pool resource area. Similarly, the relationship between the nature of the resource and the ease with which users are able to organize around it is also not straightforward. This paper is an attempt to explore these issues with respect to Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal.


There will not be a formal paper for Ashok Regmi.


Name: Jianxun Wang

Dissertation Title: Political Economy of Village Governance in Contemporary China


Abstract: Rural transformation and development in post-Mao China is one of the most remarkable scenarios in transitional countries. With the dismantlement of collectivized farming in the late 1970s, peasants in many villages have been actively involved in decision-making process over public affairs, and thus institutional structure of the villages has changed. How do peasants’ participation in decision-making process and the ensuing change of village institutional structure influence governance performance in terms of provision of public goods in post-Mao China? Do the villages with more peasant participation or more self-governing institutional structure have better governance performance? Further, what are the potentials and capabilities of peasants to establish a self-governing society from bottom up? This empirical analysis is an effort to explore the puzzles by engaging in a qualitative, in- depth case study. I have selected four villages with different types of institutional structure in different parts of China, and examined their governance performance in terms of provision of public goods, such as road, education, land management, and fiscal management. The findings indicate that peasant participation in decision-making process significantly influence village governance performance in China. In other words, the villages with more self-governing institutional structure have better governance performance.


There will not be a formal paper for Jianxun Wang.


Monday, April 25, 2005 (Special Session)

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Place: Psychology 101




Presented by Professor Michael Kearns, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


The increasing instrumentation of human and organizational behaviors, via technologies such as the Internet and instant messaging, has led to revolutions of measurement and theory in both computer science and the social sciences. It has also led to an accelerated convergence of interests between the two communities. Areas such as social network theory contain a healthy mix of researchers with computational and sociological concerns, and have resulted in mathematical models of network formation equally applicable to the growth of technological, biological, and human systems.


Many of the most compelling pieces of this convergence lie at the intersection of computer science and economics. The flow of ideas here is notably bi-directional, with computer science contributing new modeling and algorithmic tools to the study of complex game-theoretic and economic systems, and economics providing powerful new ways of thinking about computational issues such as spam and resource management in the Internet. At the core of such efforts is the realization that many of our most beloved and reviled technological systems are, at heart, economic systems, and show all of the associated behaviors: mixtures of competition and cooperation, adaptivity, free riding and tragedies of the commons, and many others.


In this talk I will survey the main trends in this line of thought, and illustrate with several examples, including modeling the effects of network structure on economic equality, and viewing Internet routing and airline baggage security as large-population games.


Co-sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program and the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University.




Thursday, April 28, 2005 (Special Session)



Evolutionary Psychology, Coalitional Alliances, and Categorization


Presented by Professor Leda Cosmides, Department of Psychology and Center for Evolutionary Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara


Abstract:Previous studies have established that people encode the race of each individual they encounter, and do so via computational processes that appear to be both automatic and mandatory. If true, this conclusion would be important, because categorizing others by their race is a precondition for treating them differently according to race. I will discuss experiments, using unobtrusive measures, showing that categorizing individuals by race is not inevitable, and supporting an alternative hypothesis: that encoding by race is instead a reversible byproduct of cognitive machinery that evolved to detect coalitional alliances. The results show that subjects encode coalitional affiliations as a normal part of person representation. More importantly, when cues of coalitional affiliation no longer track or correspond to race, subjects markedly reduce the extent to which they categorize others by race, and indeed may cease doing so entirely. Despite a lifetime’s experience of race as a predictor of social alliance, less than 4 min of exposure to an alternate social world was enough to deflate the tendency to categorize by race. These results suggest that racism may be a volatile and eradicable construct that persists only so long as it is actively maintained through being linked to parallel systems of social alliance.


BIO: Leda Cosmides is best known for her work in pioneering the new field of evolutionary psychology. She is a professor of psychology and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she co-directs the Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Cosmides was educated at Harvard, and did her postdoctoral work at Stanford. Awards for her research include the American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research, the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award; and a J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.  However, there is a background paper.


For background paper, please see:


Can Race Be Erased? Coalitional Computation and Social Categorization