Defining Polycentricity

Resources and bibliography

  1. Aligica, P.D. & V. Tarko. 2012. “Polycentricity: From Polanyi to Ostrom, & Beyond.” Governance 25(2): 237-62.
  2. Aligica, P.D, and V. Tarko. 2013. “Co-Production, Polycentricity, and Value Heterogeneity: The Ostroms’ Public Choice Institutionalism Revisited.” American Political Science Review 107(4): 726–41.
  3. Aligica, P.D. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford.
  4. Aligica, P.D. 2019. Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship, and Self-Governance, Cambridge.
  5. Aligica, P.D., P.J. Boettke, & V. Tarko 2019. Public Governance and the Classical-Liberal Perspective: Political Economy Foundations. Oxford University Press.
  6. Carlisle, K. & R.L. Gruby. 2017. “Polycentric Systems of Governance: A Theoretical Model for the Commons.” Policy Studies Journal 10(2): 629.
  7. Cole, D.H. 2011. "From Global to Polycentric Climate Governance" Climate Law 2: 395-413.
  8. Cole, D.H. 2014. “Learning from Lin: Lessons and Cautions from the Natural Commons for the Knowledge Commons.” In Governing Knowledge Commons, edited by B.M. Frischmann, M.J. Madison, and K.J. Strandburg, 45–68. New York: Oxford University Press.
  9. Cole, D.H. & M.D. McGinnis, eds. 2015. Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School of Political Economy: Volume 1, Polycentricity in Public Administration and Political Science. Lexington Books.
  10. Folke, C.l, T. Hahn, P. Olsson, & J. Norberg. 2005. “Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems.” Annual Review of Environmental Resources 30(1): 441–73.
  11. Garmestani, A,S. & M.H. Benson. 2013. “A Framework for Resilience-based Governance of Social-Ecological Systems.” Ecology & Society 18(1).
  12. Jordan, A., D. Huitema, H. van Asselt, & J. Forster, eds. 2018. Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action? New York: Cambridge University Press.
  13. McGinnis, M.D. 2011. “An Introduction to IAD and the Language of the Ostrom Workshop: A Simple Guide to a Complex Framework,” Policy Studies Journal 39(1): 163-177. Updated version maintained at
  14. McGinnis, M.D. 2019. “Beyond a Precarious Balance: Improving the Scientific Rigor and Policy Relevance of Institutional Analyses from the Bloomington School.” In Ostrom’s Tensions: Reexamining the Political Economy and Public Policy of Elinor C. Ostrom, R.Q. Herzberg, P.J. Boettke, & P.D. Aligica, eds., Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, chap. 1, pp. 19-72.
  15. Oakerson, R.J. & R.B. Parks. 2011. “The Study of Local Public Economies: Multi-organizational, Multi-level Institutional Analysis and Development.” Policy Studies Journal 39(1): 147–67.
  16. Ostrom, E. 1965. Public Entrepreneurship: A Case Study in Ground Water Basin Management. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.
  17. _____. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge.
  18. _____. 2005. Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton.
  19. Ostrom, E. 2006a. “A Frequently Overlooked Precondition of Democracy: Citizens Knowledgeable About and Engaged in Collective Action.” In Preconditions of Democracy, edited by Geoffrey Brennan, The Tampere Club Series, vol. 2, 75–89. Tampere, Finland: Tampere Univ. Press. Reprinted in Cole and McGinnis 2015.
  20. _____. 2006b. “Converting Threats into Opportunities.” PS: Political Science & Politics 39:1, 3-12.
  21. _____. 2010. “Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems” American Economic Review, 100, 641–72.
  22. _____. 2014. “Institutions and Sustainability of Ecological Systems.” In Institutions, Property Rights, and Economic Growth: The Legacy of Douglass North, eds. S. Galiani and I. Sened, 84-106, Cambridge.
  23. Ostrom, V. 1973. "Can Federalism Make a Difference?" Publius 3(2): 197-237
  24. _____. 1988. “Executive Leadership, Authority Relationships, and Public Entrepreneurship,” originally published in VIncent Ostrom, edited by Barbara Allen, The Quest to Understand Human Affairs: Natural Resources Policy and Essays on Community and Collective Choice, Lexington Books, vol. 1, pp. 433-49. Reprinted in Cole and McGinnis, 2015, 217-232.
  25. _____. 1991.The Meaning of American Federalism: Constituting a Self-Governing Society. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies Press.
  26. _____. 1997. The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies. A Response to Tocqueville’s Challenge.Michigan.
  27. _____. 2008a. The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration. 3rd ed. University of Alabama Press. (1st edition 1973; revised edition 1974; 2nd edition 1989).
  28. _____. 2008b. The Political Theory of a Compound Republic: Designing the American Experiment. 3rd ed. Lanham MD: Lexington Books. (2nd edition 1989, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press).
  29. Ostrom, V., C.M. Tiebout, & R. Warren. 1961. “The Organization of Government in Metropolitan Areas: A Theoretical Inquiry.” American Political Science Review 55.
  30. Pahl-Wostl, C. & C. Knieper. 2014. “The capacity of water governance to deal with the climate change adaptation challenge: Using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to distinguish between polycentric, fragmented and centralized regimes.” Global Environmental Change 29:139–54.
  31. Poteete, A., M. Janssen, & E. Ostrom. 2010. Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice. Princeton.
  32. Polanyi, M. 1951. The Logic of Liberty: Reflections and Rejoinders. University of Chicago Press.
  33. Sarker, A. & W. Blomquist. 2019. “Addressing Misconceptions of Governing the Commons.” Journal of Institutional Economics 15(2).
  34. Stephan, M., G. Marshall, & M. McGinnis. 2019. “An Introduction to Polycentricity and Governance.” In A. Thiel, W. Blomquist, and D. Garrick, eds. 2019. Governing Complexity. Cambridge University Press, chap. 1, pp. 21-44.
  35. Thiel, A., W. Blomquist, and D. Garrick, eds. 2019. Governing Complexity. Cambridge.
  36. Toonen, T.A.J. 1983. “Administrative Plurality in a Unitary State: The Analysis of Public Organizational Pluralism,” Policy & Politics 11: 247-271.