Commons Governance Program

Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on the commons

Program contact

Professor Insa Theesfeld
Interim Director, Commons Governance Program
Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
812-856-4522
insathee@iu.edu 

Our research program on Commons Governance supports and pursues multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on the commons. This is an area of study for which the Ostrom Workshop is well known around the world.

Elinor Ostrom along with several Workshop colleagues over a long period of years can fairly be said to have led the re-emergence of scholarly interest in the commons. Today, scholarly research on the commons is a vibrant and still-growing field generating a tremendous amount of creative activity.

Equally remarkable is the diversity of topics being pursued. Contemporary commons research now encompasses information access and management, public health and medical care, housing, and more—a nearly limitless range of topics from urban green space to outer space.

Our Commons Governance research program will engage with scholars and centers across Indiana University and around the world in the ongoing quest to understand and explain how people endeavor to develop and sustain all manner of resources in common. This program contains close links to the international member community of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), the leading professional association dedicated to the commons. Among its founders in 1989 was Elinor Ostrom.