Colloquia during Fall 2014

September 8, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]

Cosponsored by the Ostrom Workshop and SPEA

"An Appeal for Smarter Decisions"


Professor Joseph ArvaiDepartment of Geography, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Abstract: We have witnessed, over the last several years, an explosion of interest in the science of judgment and decision-making. For example, bestsellers like BlinkPredictably Irrational, and Thinking, Fast and Slow have provided engaging and entertaining summaries of research on the manner in which people make choices. But, by and large, insights from, and — importantly — applications based on, this research about how to improve the quality of important personal and policy choices has struggled to keep pace. This is especially the case when we think about problems (and opportunities) that demand what could be termed "active decision support." With this as backdrop, this presentation will focus on research conducted in my lab at the University of Calgary, which has focused on developing and testing decision-aiding tools for use by people when making choices involving complex problems and consequential outcomes.

Bio: Dr. Joe Arvai is Professor and Svare Chair in Applied Decision Research at the University of Calgary. He is based in the Department of Geography, the Institute for Public Health, and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Environment and Economy. Dr. Arvai is also a Senior Researcher at Decision Research in Eugene, OR, and an Adjunct Professor in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Joe's research has two main areas of emphasis: First, his research is focused on advancing our understanding of how people instinctively process information and make decisions. Second, Joe and his team conduct research focused on developing and testing decision support systems that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts. These decision support systems can be classified as active (in that they decompose complex problems into more cognitively manageable parts) or passive (in that they modify human behavior in self-interested directions without modifying people's decision-making tendencies). In addition to Joe's academic work, he is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Board on Environmental Change and Society. Twitter: @DecisionLab.


September 10, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Campaign Spending, Poverty Levels and Electoral Outcomes in Brazil"


Dr. Dalson Britto Figueiredo Filho, Department of Political Science, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that there is a positive correlation between campaign spending effect magnitude and poverty levels. In other words, the impact of campaign spending on electoral outcomes should be higher in poorer electoral districts. Methodologically, the research combines both descriptive and multivariate statistics to analyze data from 2010 Brazilian federal deputies elections. The results suggest that: (1) there is a positive correlation ( r= 0,838) (p-value<.000) between campaign spending and votes; (2) an extra additional 1% in campaign spending produces an average increase of 0,7% votes and (3) the effect of campaign spending on electoral outcomes depends of the district income levels and can be described by a quadratic function.

Bio: Dalson Figueiredo is assistant professor at Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Brazil. His main areas of research are campaign finance, quantitative methods and legislative studies. He was visiting scholar at Wisconsin University, Madison and at William Mitchell College of Law, Saint Paul. More information see


September 17, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Pakistan's Strategic Obsession and the Road to Catastrophe: Is There a Way Out?"


Professor Jagmohan Meher, Senior Fulbright-Nehru Fellow, Department of Political Science, IUB


Abstract: Pakistan's obsession of searching for a "strategic depth" across the Durand Line in Afghanistan and a "Muslim Space" in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has proved to be a devastating policy for the country in pursuit of which its military-intelligence establishment implanted the seeds of Islamism, extremism, and state sponsored terrorism on both sides of their borders. This strategic overstretch, though driven by a strong military sense of geo-politics among its largely military rulers, is embedded in the country's unrealistic yearnings, out of place perceptions and false grievances. The army outsourced its ill-conceived strategy to jihadi organizations and religious institutions and allowed local militias, terrorist groups, guerrilla armies and other non-state actors to emerge in different parts of the country who afterwards claim political and religious authority. Rawalpindi (army headquarters) supported these terrorists as a cheap way to keep India and Afghanistan off balance. But over the years, they have metamorphosed into a menace and the more powerful terrorist groups — which are also the more radical ones — have outgrown their handlers; fatally weakening the political institutions, declining the role of the state and creating monsters that threatens to devour Pakistani society. In the process, the failure of the state apparatus is creating a culture of impunity and ultimately leading to the breakdown of the rule of law in the country. Clearly, ongoing fragility appears to be a prelude to a failed state. Thus the extremists' growth and power in Pakistani society are a direct result of its policy towards India and Afghanistan. What is required is a four-dimensional approach to promote liberal democracy, to reduce the role of military, to reform madrassah, and to emphasize on economic development through cross-border trade with India and Afghanistan. The Pakistani strategic obsession has large-scale security implications both for its neighbors and the international community at large, and hence, requires closer scrutiny and analysis.

Bio: Jagmohan Meher, a Senior Fulbright-Nehru Fellow at Indiana University, Bloomington, is a Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at National Defence Academy, Pune, India. His publications include two books on Afghanistan and more than twenty articles on different dimensions of Afghanistan war, Pakistan and India's Foreign Policy.


September 22, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"The Political Transaction Costs and Uncertainties of Establishing Environmental Rights"


Professor Kerry Krutilla, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, IUB 
(coauthor: Alexander Alexeev, Visiting Research Fellow, Indiana University; and Environmental and Economic Risk Consulting, Odessa, Ukraine)


Abstract: The conventional analysis of environmental policy compares the consequences of rational behavior before and after the policymaking, but ignores the consequences of rational behavior over the policy formulation itself; in particular, over the way environmental use rights are distributed. The implicit assumption is either that stakeholders abandon self-interest during the policymaking period, or that political actions are of no economic consequence. The first of these assumptions is logically inconsistent, while the second is inconsistent with the large public choice literature on political behavior and rent seeking.

This research explores the normative implications of self-interested behavior during the policymaking period. We develop a model that includes both policy-related and political-institutional parameters, including the way the policy is structured to distribute environmental rights; the benefits of the policy; the policy's abatement costs, and the relative political power of polluters and environmentalists. The model is solved to give unique Nash equilibria for the transaction costs of lobbying, and for the probability that an environmental policy proposal is adopted. These two outcomes are combined into an ex ante normative standard that comprehensively characterizes the expected costs and benefits of an environmental policy proposal. We find that political behavior can significantly erode the expected value of environmental policymaking, but that policies can also be structured to reduce political transaction costs and uncertainties. The basic takeaway is that policies can be designed to reduce the consequences of political behavior, thereby increasing the net economic value of environmental policymaking.

Bio: Kerry Krutilla is a PhD economist and faculty member at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. His current research focuses on the economic evaluation of federal regulatory actions, the political economy and transaction costs of environmental policymaking, and jurisdictional competition over fiscal and environmental policies. A variety of U.S. agencies and organizations have supported Professor Krutilla's research, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the World Bank, the (former) Harvard Institute for International Development, the National Institute of Justice, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Navistar Corporation. Professor Krutilla teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in benefit cost analysis and environmental economics. Before his academic career, Professor Krutilla was an analyst at Energy and Environmental Analysis Inc.


September 24, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Is Displacement Rational? Explaining the Relationship between Information Flows and Displacement"


Justin Schon, PhD Student, Department of Political Science, IUB


Abstract: How do information flows affect civilian responses to conflict? Conflict scholars tend to assume that civilians will know about all important conflict events. This allows them to make rational decisions about whether to leave their homes and where to go if they do leave. However, civilians often make decisions that make them unsafe or cost excessive amounts of money. These seemingly irrational decisions are systematic, not rare aberrations. To explain them, this paper challenges the assumption of complete information. Interviews conducted with Syrian refugees in Jordan illustrate how Syrian civilians have consumed and reacted to information about the Syrian conflict. The most important finding is that the ways in which civilians consume information change during conflict. Civilians consume less precise and less accurate information. These findings add nuance to current explanations of displacement.

Bio: Justin is a third-year Political Science PhD student at Indiana University Bloomington. He uses a variety of time series analyses, spatial analyses, event count modelling, and qualitative fieldwork to pursue his interests in conflict, displacement, and insurgency.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Financial Disclosure: This research has been financially supported by a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) scholarship from Indiana University's Center for the Study of the Middle East and by a grant from the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

September 29, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Identifying Social Capacity to Address Non Point Source Pollution"


Dr. Linda Prokopy, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


Abstract: Agricultural runoff in the Midwestern United States leads to downstream impacts on the nation's waterways. Addressing this non point source pollution necessitates changing the behaviors of farmers in countless watersheds throughout the region. Identifying which watersheds to focus outreach efforts in is a challenge for state and federal agencies. From a social perspective, not all watersheds are created equally and some watersheds have a much higher capacity to respond to increased outreach and technical and financial assistance. This presentation summarizes ongoing research into identifying measures of social capacity and the importance of social capacity for watershed management.

Bio: Dr. Linda Prokopy is a Natural Resource Social Scientist in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University who specializes in the social dimensions of watershed management. She is the Project Director of the USDA-NIFA funded Useful to Usable (U2U) project that is delivering decision support tools to help corn producers in the Midwestern United States adapt to climate change. Her research group conducts numerous surveys and interviews with agricultural producers and their advisors throughout the Midwest to understand how they make behavioral decisions related to climate change and water quality. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and has generated close to $8 million to fund her research from a diversity of federal, state and local sources.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

October 1, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Forest Cooperation Forms and Governance Settings in South Eastern European Context: General Overview of Croatia and Serbia"


Marina Miovska, FONASO PhD Fellow, Dept of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padua, Legnaro, Italy; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: Within past decades, emerging international debate on meaning and mode of forest governance, with all formal and informal modes of interactions and power relations between different actors' has significantly marked the South East European (SEE) region. The unity designation of former Yugoslavia in 1991 resulted with establishment of newly democratic countries within the region. This initiated different related processes of denationalization, privatization and restitution of the previously nationalized properties, within all countries. The processes needed to deal with the consequences from the socialism and restitution of huge land area, as forests and forestland too, previously administered by the state as so-called "social good." Vast number of small forest holdings assigned to significant number of new owners and highly dispersed plots leaded to unfavorable management conditions. Forestry dependent people, considering newly occurred issues and related forest management difficulties, start to look for new modes to overcome this situation. Not having sufficient state support, they start to organize themselves in small self-governed groups of people sharing the same or similar problems and goals. The research area covers the countries of Croatia and Serbia based on the previous research data as countries with biggest number of local level organized groups. The study analyses the existing local level groups in forestry under umbrella term of "cooperation groups." Two types of groups are identified, where community forest and the so-called "associations of private forest owners." The cooperation has two existing forms identified. It can be either necessity driven, on a group level, with governance mechanisms based on clearly defined rules, positions and activities, or as initiative driven, top-down, and ad-hoc or project based activities.

Bio: Marina Miovska is an Erasmus Mundus PhD candidate within the Forest and Nature for Society (FONASO) Joint Doctoral Program. Her research work is supported by the University of Padua in Italy and by the Dresden University of Technology in Germany. She holds a BSc degree in forestry from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Macedonia and MSc in forest policy and economics (FOPER) from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her research interests include community forests, community-based forest management, collective action and governance in forestry. Her PhD work focuses on formation and existence of local-level cooperation groups in forestry and the effects of governance on resources sustainability, with case studies from South Eastern Europe.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

October 6, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Data Provenance and Agent Based Models: Technological Contributions to Social Ecological Systems Research "


Professor Beth Plale, School of Informatics and Computing, IUB


Abstract: Researchers who use agent-based models (ABM) to model social patterns often focus on the model's aggregate phenomena. However, aggregation of individuals complicates the understanding of agent interactions and the uniqueness of individuals. We develop a method for tracing and capturing the provenance of individuals and their interactions in the NetLogo ABM, and from this create a view into the model that yields insight into the cause-effect relations among system behaviors. Dependency provenance can answers to questions such as "How did the simulation evolve?", "What changes occur after changing a parameter's value?", "How influential is a parameter?", and "Which parameter is the most influential for a particular type of agent?"

Bio: Professor Beth Plale, Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, has broad research interest in data stewardship, data access, and enabling computational access to large-scale and complex data for broader use. Her specific research interests are in tools for metadata and provenance capture, data repositories, cyberinfrastructure for large-scale data analysis, and workflow systems. Plale is deeply engaged in interdisciplinary research and education and has substantive experience in developing stable and useable scientific cyberinfrastructure.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

October 8, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Giving Rights to Nature: A New Institutional Approach for Overcoming Social Dilemmas?"


Julia Talbot-Jones, PhD Candidate, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Canberra; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: Well-designed institutional arrangements that incentivize or constrain human behavior can reconcile the division of public and private interests so often present in social dilemmas. Recommended approaches have traditionally been to allocate property right bundles for common-pool resources and public goods to central government or to alternatively vest them in the individual. More recently, the value of community governance and co-management have been recognized as effective alternatives. In 2014, New Zealand introduced a new institutional arrangement for the governance of the Whanganui River. Under Te Ruruku Whakatupua the Whanganui River (or Te Awa Tupua as it is now called) has its own independent "voice" and rights to ecosystem health and wellbeing. This means that in a Court of Law the Whanganui River will be recognized as a person, its rights to be represented by nominated "guardians." Using the IAD Framework, this research analyses this institutional change and identifies three possible effects that may impact the allocation of rights to use and management for the Whanganui River. These include defining the river as an actor rather than a resource unit; transferring rights to entry, withdrawal, exclusion and alienation of the river from the legislature to the judiciary; and the emergence of a nested community governance institutional arrangement for management of the river. An exploration of the potential effectiveness of this change is also undertaken.

This presentation will discuss the work above as well as open up discussion for the next stage of Julia's PhD research. This will focus on translating the institutional analysis of the Whanganui River into an experimental setting in order to test how giving nature legal standing might impact peoples’ behavior towards public good provision.

Bio: Julia Talbot-Jones is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Her research interests include environmental and ecological economics, institutional effects on human behavior, and experimental approaches. Her current work is looking to understand the effect on peoples' behavior toward public good provision when nature is granted legal standing. Her work centers on the Whanganui River in New Zealand, which was granted personhood in a ratified settlement in 2014. Julia's time at the Workshop will be spent developing her analysis of the Whanganui River governance system using the IAD framework. She then hopes to translate these findings into an experimental setting to test the potential impacts of the institutional change on peoples’ choices and preferences.


October 13, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Governments' Environmental Policy Instruments: A Brief Overview of a New(ish) Framework"


Professor Kenneth Richards, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUB


Abstract: Since the early 1970s nations' approaches to environmental policy implementation have steadily evolved. Initially, governments primarily used regulatory tools, often referred to as command-and-control instruments. In the late 1970s, government agencies, and most notably the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), started experimenting with market-based incentives to address environmental issues, culminating over ten years later in the sulfur dioxide trading program under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. By the mid-1990s, governments had added a number of voluntary environmental programs.

The development of this substantial range of policy instruments — government tools — raises important design questions. Why do governments use such a range of policy instruments, sometimes even concurrently? What criteria are commonly used in choosing among the policy instruments? Under what circumstances would one approach be preferable to another? What is the conceptual relation among the different instruments? How do they differ economically? Legally? Politically?

This talk, based on a textbook under development for Cambridge University Press, will provide a brief overview of a new framework for environmental policy instrument choice. The framework differs from other work in the field in two important respects.

First, the framework provides a new structure for understanding and analyzing the instrument choice, design, and deployment process. Where other analyses tend to list criteria for evaluating policy instruments, this approach describes a constrained cost-minimization approach that facilitates an understanding of the tradeoffs among the many criteria and limitations that policy makers face. Where other analyses generally compare and contrast types of policy instruments, this framework explores the relation among the instruments, discussing key dimensions to instrument choice and design. The result is a richer concept of "policy instrument space" rather than discrete categories.

Second, the framework provides an integrated approach to the analysis of policy instruments, blending the analytical models of environmental economics with insight from public administration, New Institutional Economics, public finance, international, regulatory and constitutional law, and political economics. This approach provides a much richer understanding of the instrument choice process than does the parsimonious microeconomics model alone.

The result of this approach is a tool that can support both normative decision-making on the part of policy practitioners and comparative legal and policy analysis on the part of academics. This new conceptual approach also identifies a number of areas of promising future research in law, economics, and public administration.

Bio: Dr. Kenneth Richards is a Professor at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and an Affiliated Professor of the Maurer School of Law. He served as the Musim Mas Professor of Sustainability at the National University of Singapore Business School from 2012 to 2014. Dr. Richards has also served as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University and Associate Director of the Lugar Centre for Renewable Energy, Indiana University. His U.S. government service includes work as an economist for the Council of Economic Advisers, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

His research focuses on the nexus of business and government around issues of sustainability, environmental protection, natural resource management and technology development. He has published dozens of articles and book chapters in the fields of climate change policy; technology evaluation; and the law, economics and management of environmental sustainability. He is currently working on a book on environmental policy for Cambridge University Press and is managing a research project on corporate sustainability indexing.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

October 15, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Messy and Technical Governance of Renewable Energy: An Institutional Analysis of Consenting Biogas Plants in Germany"


Melf-Hinrich Ehlers, Applied Economist, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland,UK; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: Biogas plants digesting agricultural resources have become notable contributors to renewable energy supplies in Germany. However, biogas is not without environmental problems. Environmental impacts and risks arising from the biogas plant itself can include noise, exhaust fumes and effluent run-off. Further impacts are associated with growing feedstock and with field application of digestate. Many of these impacts are addressed through planning consents for biogas plants, which can specify sites, technologies and operating practices. For the emerging agricultural biogas sector in Germany development planning regulation therefore is an important area of concern. This case study explores how institutions come into play from 1980 to 2008, when environmental impacts of biogas plants are governed as part of planning consents. It uncovers polycentric set-ups, including official, semi-official and in-official actors like engineering and business consultants. The implementation of legislation is influenced by the novelty of biogas technology and measurability of impacts. Planning officers pursue various arrangements, including adapted technical prescriptions and negotiated procedures, as they approach uniform implementation to prevent legal challenges from developers and the public. But there seems to remain scope for prescriptions according to officials' preferences and for voluntary measures. The findings suggest that accommodation of new demands on environmental regulation becomes more difficult, as institutional arrangements become more detailed.

Bio: Melf-Hinrich Ehlers is an applied economist at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland UK. His research draws on institutional economics and entrepreneurship and innovation theory, looking at formation and governance of renewable energy sectors. He is also completing a PhD at the Division of Resource Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on the German agricultural biogas sector. During his stay at the Workshop, he will work on local environmental governance of agricultural biogas and start developing an analytical framework for institutional analysis of community renewable energy.


October 20, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"International Regional Governance: The Evolution of a New Institutional Form"


Professor Gary Goertz, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame


Abstract: In this paper we present an overview of the evolution of a new institutional form dealing regional international governance. It is new in that this kind of institution did not exist before 1945. But we shall see that in a relatively short period of time it has evolved to cover most of the globe. This new institutional form, which we call Regional Economic Institutions (REIs), should be of interest to those involved in analyzing and comparative the structure and logic of different kinds of political institutions. We present the population of REIs and their defining features. We then follow the evolution of some of its key organizational and institutional features. Next we survey the very wide scope of economic and security issues covered in these institutions and how that has evolved over time. Finally, we show that almost all important single-issue security (military alliances), free trade agreements, along with new international courts are in fact all embedded in REIs.

Bio: Gary Goertz is professor of Political Science at the Kroc Center for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University. He has worked extensively on international norms and institutions (e.g., his books Contexts of International Politics and International Norms, Punctuated Equilibrium, and Decision-Making). Currently he is working on the theory of comparative regional governance, researching the functioning of regional, general purpose institutions which exist throughout the world. He is also well-known for his methodological work, including books such as A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences and Social Science Concepts: A User's Guide. He is currently finishing a book entitled The Peace Puzzle, which explores and explains the increasing peacefulness of the international system since 1945 (to be published in 2015 by OUP).


October 22, 2014 (Wednesday)


"University-Industry Knowledge Transfer through an Institutionalist Lens: The Case of Greater Manchester, England"


Professor Christos Kalantaridis, School of Management, University of Bradford, UK; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: Universities are increasingly acknowledged by researchers, policy makers and business practitioners as key contributors to economic development in an era of knowledge driven innovation. Within this context, changes in the regulation (such as the Bayh-Dole Act and its international counterparts) and the strategies adopted by knowledge users lead to increased protection of knowledge generated through academic research. This is rationalised on account of the economic benefit generated through the rapid and effective diffusion of new knowledge. However, during the past few years concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of regulation: stressing the advantages of inventor ownership as a decentralised knowledge transfer model. Within this context, this paper sets out to explore how do rules-in-use impact upon the appropriability (by different actors) of university generated knowledge (the outcome of both publicly funded and contract research)? The paramount objective of this study is to explore whether there is scope for enhancing rules-in-use regarding appropriability for the purposes of innovation and economic development. In doing so, the research focuses squarely on knowledge generated through (i) collaborative and (ii) contract research in Greater Manchester, England. Introducing an institutionalist lens (the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework) in the study of university-industry knowledge transfer, profound disparities in the effectiveness of existing regulations and rules regarding appropriability emerge between the two types of knowledge production. Whilst a relatively sophisticated process of market segmentation is evidence of success in the effective exploitation of the results of contract research, profound challenges emerge regarding the outcomes of collaborative research. The paper goes on to advance some ideas about ways of exploring the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternative regulatory arrangement.

Bio: Christos Kalantaridis is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradford University School of Management in England. His research interests are: entrepreneurship and institutional change, rural entrepreneurship and innovation, innovation in the National Health Service, and university-industry knowledge transfer. At Bradford he leads the Bradford Research in Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship Lab, and co-ordinates two international (EU funded) research projects. He edits the European Journal of Innovation Management.

The paper will be available at a later date.

October 27, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Coding Formal Citizen Input Mechanisms in Local Government Charters"


Dr. Cali Curley, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


Abstract: Form of government research traditionally uses dichotomous representations of strong and weak mayors to attempt to explain policy output; conversely, citizen participation research often relies on variables such as city size and density along with other community characteristics, treating institutions transparently (Tavares & Carr, 2013). Both treatments of institutions limit the variation in the form of local governments and lead to theoretically incoherent empirical results. Crawford and Ostrom's (1995) "Institutional Grammar" provides a technique to develop a continuum of institutional arrangements representing form of government in a more theoretically satisfying manner. This paper employs the institutional grammar coding technique to provide a constitutional-statement level content analysis of the powers of mayors and citizens present in Florida city charters. This research seeks to better understand the role that these tradeoffs between the formal powers of citizens and mayors have on the degree of citizen input sought and utilized by the local government. Essentially we are asking the question: do city charters granting citizens higher levels of access to mayors and decision-making have an impact on the degree of citizen input utilized in the local government? Understanding the role of institutional grammar can provide a richer environment to examine the different types of citizen input mechanisms and the variation of their effectiveness across different local government structural and cultural environments.

Bio: Cali Curley, who just completed her PhD from the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, is an assistant professor at SPEA. She earned her bachelor's in economics and political science as well as her master's in applied economics from Florida State University. Her research focuses on local governments, institutions, energy policy and sustainability. Cali is the recipient of the $18,000 DeVoe Moore Dissertation Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year, and was also named a 2013 Emerging Scholar by the National Association of School of Public Affairs and Administration. During her time at Florida State, Cali worked as a research assistant and an instructor, and also co-authored a paper on the first comprehensive data set of U.S. municipal government sustainability programs and policies, which was published in Urban Affairs Review.


October 29, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Polycentricity and the Dispersal of Hierarchy: Digging into Vincent Ostrom’s Work"


Dr. Mark Stephan, School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, Washington State University; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: A central tenet in the development of the idea of polycentricity has been the decentralization of authority. Or to put it another way, polycentric systems are ones where decision-making is decentered. What happens to hierarchy, as distinct from authority, in such a system? It is only somewhat clear. Yes, fragmentation does occur and large-scale bureaucracies do not, or should not, exist. But hierarchy does not disappear, nor should it disappear, according to Vincent Ostrom (and others influenced by him). This presentation is meant to be an exploration, both empirically and normatively, of the role of hierarchy in polycentric systems. Pulling from the full range of Vincent’s work (and occasionally the work of others), I argue that hierarchy can be found dispersed throughout polycentric systems and that some of the dispersions are intentionally constructed. One specific example of the dispersion of hierarchy is the relationship between US states and localities in the area of climate risk governance. Based on the academic literature and some initial work of my colleagues and mine, I will discuss the range of relationships that occur between states and localities in climate risk governance. This range further informs us of the complex nature of hierarchy in a multilevel, extensive polycentric system.

Bio: Mark Stephan is an associate professor of Political Science in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. His research is in the areas of climate risk governance, environmental information disclosure policy, and environmental policy in U.S. states (e.g., his coauthored book Coming Clean: Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance). Currently he is working with colleagues on a three-year study on climate risk governance that intends to understand state-local connections through a polycentric lens. His contributions to the study are both in theory development and on the qualitative components of the project. The study uses a mixed-method approach and tries to make sense of subnational multi-level governance.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

November 3, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Wikipedia and the Microphysics of Political Order"


Dr. Simon DeDeo, School of Informatics and Computing, IUB


Abstract: Technology allows for vastly accelerated social evolution in the online sphere. Multi-modal, multi-player, and driven by a diversity of interests, social systems such as Wikipedia are larger than many cities, but appear to develop political order — not only mutual expectations and social norms, but hierarchies and institutions — over the course of days and weeks, rather than decades and centuries. In the context of recent work on emergence of political order in animal societies, we present new results on how the minute-by-minute decision-making of hundreds of thousands of individuals in Wikipedia leads to the formation of emergent institutions that, independent of any single individual, regulate and manage the behavior of thousands. New quantitative methods allow us to track not only the formation of these institutions, but higher order logics of power and oligarchic capture, and to study path-dependence in the development of Wikipedian norms and practices in different languages.

Bio: Simon DeDeo is an assistant professor in the Department of Informatics at Indiana University, and external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. For further information, please see

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

November 5, 2014 (Wednesday)


"A Model for Analyzing Sustainability of Malaria Control Policies: A Case Study at the Municipality of El Bagre (Colombia)"


Dr. Walter Salas Zapata, School of Microbiology, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: This study aimed to analyze the sustainability of the malaria control policy in El Bagre during 2011. An exploratory mix-methods research QUAL —› quan was made. Fourteen interviews and a documentary research were carried out in order to identify social-ecological processes related to malaria dynamics. This study found that processes such as mining, migrations, social practices and cultural beliefs, armed conflict, and climatic variations were related to the disease behavior, and that the policy structure revealed a scarce capacity of actors to adapt control actions to such processes. Even though the malaria control policy has been effective, this is scarcely sustainable.

Bio: Walter Salas Zapata is an assistant professor at the School of Microbiology, University of Antioquia (Medellín, COLOMBIA). He obtained a PhD in Sustainability, Technology and Humanism (Technical University of Catalonia, Spain). His three areas of interest are: (1) sustainability science (epistemological and methodological principles for sustainability research), (2) microbiology from a sustainability approach (the understanding of problems related to microbial processes from a sustainability perspective), and (3) governance for social-ecological resilience (institutional arrangements that enable systems to be social-ecological resilient). Regarding the latter, he has worked on the subject of sustainability of malaria control policies. He will be working on a characterization of institutional problems related to mining control and, particularly, the institutional designs that hamper an adaptive governance of mining.


November 10, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Financial Risk as a Common Pool: Competition, Capture, and Governance of a Networked System"


Dr. W. Travis Selmier II, Affiliated Faculty, Ostrom Workshop, IUB; and Dr. W. Kindred Winecoff, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, IUB


Abstract: Germain (2012) argued that international political economy (IPE) scholars should pay especial attention to dynamics in global finance related to rising powers, the durability of liberalization, and the interplay between public and private actors in governance. The purpose of this presentation is to formally launch such a research program linking Ostrom School concepts to the governance of international financial markets and systems. Governance of finance is complex, problematical, and regulated by a mishmash of public and private agencies operating at multiple levels (Ciepley, 2013; Helleiner, 2011). The Ostrom School emphasizes the possibility for effective polycentric governance of complex systems (Ostrom, 2010), but the conditions under which that could occur in global finance have not yet been explored. Questions surrounding the capacity and even legitimacy of financial regulatory and governance bodies lead us toward a pragmatic institutional approach wherein "fair distribution of the benefits and costs of alternative financial system[s]" (Mügge, 2011: 67) are used to engineer comprehensive governance mechanisms. This research program is already underway: agenda-setting papers introducing core concepts involving club goods in finance (Cerny 2014; Selmier 2014, WP13-11, -12, -13, -14) have integrated the work of Ostrom Workshop scholars (Schlager & Ostrom, 1992; Polski, 2000; McGinnis, various), and a panel at this summer’s WOW-5 broadened, deepened and expanded these concepts. A proposed special issue of an IPE journal would continue these efforts.


W. Travis Selmier II worked in international investments for 17 years during which he researched investments, economics and politics of, and travelled to, 60 countries. Among the first foreigners to sit for the Chartered Market Analyst Exam — in Japanese — in 1992, he was named to Barrons Top 100 Portfolio Managers list in 1998. He taught Finance at IU's Kelley School of Business from 2008- 2011 and is presently engaged in research at IU's Ostrom Workshop.

Research interests include language economics and language policy of nations and MNEs, institutional dynamics of international financial markets, property rights of financial goods, Chinese and East Asian banking. He reads six languages, and won three of America’s top fellowships to study Chinese and Portuguese. His publications appear in Business HorizonsJournal of International Business StudiesReview of International Political EconomyWorld Economy and elsewhere.

W. Kindred Winecoff received his PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013, where he studied international political economy. Much of his research focuses on the politics of the global financial system, the use of complex network methodologies to uncover interdependencies within that system, and the regulatory and governance regimes that attempt to channel investment into some asset classes and out of others. A primary focus of this research is the location and character of power within these structures, and the ways in which power is exerted onto them. He work has recently been published in International Studies Quarterly and Perspectives on Politics, and he is the co-editor of the Handbook of the International Political Economy of Monetary Relations (2014, Edward Elgar Publishing).


November 12, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Policy Regimes, Latent Constitutive Institutions, and Machine Learning Methodology: Examples from EU Energy Policy and City of Helsinki Environmental Policy"


Dr. Arho Toikka, Social and Public Policy, Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: Besides laying out formal rules-in-use, policy documents (legislation, planning documents, strategies, roadmaps) also define the constitutive settings of policy regimes — i.e., what do we talk about when we talk about energy policy? What counts as an energy policy argument? This paper uses a big data approach and a machine learning methodology, topic modelling, to map the latent structure in two energy and environmental policy corpuses and interprets through an institutionalist framework. Topic modelling finds the statistical structure of words appearing together in documents and forming "topics." If these topics are to be meaningful for social sciences, they need to have theoretically informed interpretability. Previous research has interpreted them as frames, discourses, and semantic fields. This paper explores the structure of European Union energy policy and City of Helsinki environmental policy to put forward the argument that they could be interpreted as classifying or constitutive institutions.

Bio: Arho Toikka is post-doctoral researcher with the Environmental Policy Research Group at the Department of Social Sciences in the University of Helsinki. His research interests include energy policy, governance of novel technologies and social network analysis. Recent projects include work on environmental governance in Helsinki, Finland; governance of nanomaterial in the EU; governance of carbon capture and storage technologies in Europe; and bioenergy solutions and decentralization of energy policy regimes.


November 17, 2014 (Monday) [stream unavailable due to technical difficulties]


"Catalyzing Transformative Pathways to Decarbonization"


Dr. Matthew Hoffmann, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Canada


Abstract: Despite more than two decades of widespread consensus amongst climate scientists that the consequences of global warming will be dire, neither the United Nations treaty-making process nor national governments have been able to put in place mechanisms and measures capable of overcoming the stubbornly locked-in carbon economy and energy systems. Technology is not the problem and policy and governance innovations with the potential to generate pathways to decarbonization abound, but what remains unclear is how those pathways are and can be constructed. In this paper we develop a forward-looking theory of transformation towards decarbonization and identify pathways through which diverse and multilevel initiatives outside the United Nations process can contribute to disrupting carbon lock-in and develop new, decarbonized path dependencies. Pathways to decarbonization are developing amongst cities, regions, provinces, corporations, NGOs, and nations and we thus use the conceptual framework to analyze decarbonization efforts ranging from the Danish national plan to be fossil fuel free by 2050 to the C40 network of large cities efforts to spread sustainable practices amongst its members to the Carbon Trust's efforts to entrench retail carbon labeling. The conceptual and empirical analyses in this paper thus combine to provide insight into how diverse interventions can develop the potential to disrupt carbon lock-in in specific ways and catalyze multilateral cooperation and broader system transformation.

Bio: Matthew J. Hoffmann is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. He is also Co-Director of the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Professor Hoffmann has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a PhD in International Relations from the George Washington University. He previously taught at the University of Delaware and was a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University. His research and teaching interests include global governance, climate change politics, complexity theory, and international relations theory. In addition to a number of articles and book chapters on climate politics, carbon markets, and global governance, he is the author of Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Experimenting with a Global Response after Kyoto (Oxford University Press 2011), Ozone Depletion and Climate Change: Constructing a Global Response (SUNY Press 2005) and coeditor with Alice Ba of Contending Perspectives on Global Governance (Routledge 2005). He also is a coauthor on a recent collaborative book Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge University Press 2014). His current research, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, concerns Conceptualizing Policy Pathways to Decarbonization.


November 19, 2014 (Wednesday)


"What is Africa's 'Energy' Problem? Lessons from Uganda"


Dr. Christopher Gore, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Abstract: In 2000, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni published a book of writings titled What Is Africa's Problem? The book was a collection of the President's observations on politics, conflict and development in the sub-continent, and at the time of publication, was celebrated for being a blunt assessment of the continent by a respected African leader. Around this same time, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa were experiencing improved economic and social outcomes, and had implemented new laws and regulations to improve environmental and natural resource management. Uganda was one of those countries. Bilateral and multilateral donors were also deeply engaged in policy reform, capacity building and financial support. But despite this support and improving conditions, one sector that continually failed to improve in a host of countries was energy. In fact, six years after the publication of Museveni's book, Uganda had one of the highest prices of electricity in the world, one of the lowest levels of access, and needed emergency supplies. As a testament to the situation, Uganda's Minister of Energy stated that the country was in a "crisis." Despite many attempts to improve the sector in Uganda, intense debate and acrimony emerged pitting donors, the national government, the private sector and civil society against one another, each accusing the other of undermining improvements and projects. Even in 2014, the largest economies in the sub-continent — Nigeria and South Africa — are engaged in intense debates about electricity supply, ownership, and access, and are suffering through power cuts or the threat of power shortages. Why is an issue so instrumental to economic and social advances in history, proving to be so challenging to resolve and improve? "What is Africa's 'Energy' Problem?"

The presentation takes stock of various explanations for problems in electricity provision in sub-Saharan Africa. Using the case of Uganda, it emphasizes the need for researchers to move beyond understanding energy supply and infrastructure provision as technical problems and prioritize the political and institutional problems of electricity supply. The presentation examines ways that policy scholars and political scientists might embrace the interdisciplinary character of energy problems in Africa to better understand the evolving character of governance and institutions in the region.

Bio: Christopher Gore is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University. He holds a PhD and MA from the University of Toronto, both in Political Science and Environmental Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph. Professor Gore maintains an active research agenda relating to multilevel environmental governance; comparative urban and environmental politics; and urban and environmental policymaking and administration. Regionally, his research has mainly focused on sub-Saharan Africa and North America. He has conducted field research on energy, agriculture, natural resources, and infrastructure policy in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia, and extensive research on municipalities and climate change in Canada. Dr. Gore is also the Chief Editor of the journal, Review of Policy Research: The Politics and Policy of Science and Technology, the official journal of the Science, Technology and Environmental Politics (STEP) section of the American Political Science Association. Dr. Gore’s work has been published in journals such as the Journal of International DevelopmentInternational Journal of Urban and Regional ResearchJournal of Urban AffairsEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy; Review of Policy Research; and the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. He currently has research projects on comparative urban environmental policy in East Africa, and is collaborating on research on municipal environmental policy in the province of Ontario, and energy, climate change, and infrastructure in East Africa. His presentation relates to a book he is currently writing on energy sector reform and large dam construction in sub-Saharan Africa..


December 1, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"The Production of Information in the Attention Economy"


Dr. Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, School of Informatics and Computing, IUB


Abstract: We live in an age in which information is over-abundant and increasingly treated as a commodity. Yet the mechanisms underlying its production and consumption are largely unknown. In this talk I will show that demand and supply of information are empirically related. Through analysis of a massive dataset on traffic to Wikipedia, we observe significant shifts of attention occurring near the time of creation of new Wikipedia articles. In the majority of cases demand precedes supply, but the reverse also occasionally happens. This is consistent with a scenario in which the allocation of attention toward a topic stimulates the demand for information about it, and in turn the supply of further novel information. This study is a first step toward the quantitative study of the social processes that drive the production of information in the "economy of attention."

Bio: Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS), at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). He obtained his PhD in Informatics in 2011 from the University of Lugano (Switzerland), under the supervision of Luca Maria Gambardella (IDSIA). Before joining CNetS, he was research analyst contractor at the Wikimedia Foundation, working in the Editor Engagement team, and research associate at the Chair of sociology, in particular modeling and simulation, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. His research is about collective social phenomena on the Internet, in particular large-scale techno-social systems such as Wikipedia. Among his research interests are complex social phenomena such as the emergence of social norms, the evolution of culture, and collective attention.


December 3, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Voluntary Disclosure of Contributions: An Experimental Study on Non-Mandatory Approaches for Improving Public Good Provision"


Ursula Kreitmair, PhD Student, SPEA & Department of Political Science, IUB


Abstract: The role of monitoring is arguably central in the provision of public goods and the management of common pool resources, because it allows for the detection of uncooperative behavior and thus promotes greater cooperation. However, when the meaning of cooperative behavior is unclear, such as in linear public goods games where a range of contributions may be considered cooperative, monitoring alone is unsuccessful in encouraging cooperation. Nevertheless, information on other individuals’ actions, when it is voluntarily provided, may be effective. Using experimental data on the voluntary provision of public goods, this paper finds that when groups vote to monitor — or when individuals decide to divulge information on their own actions — monitoring is an effective means of ensuring greater cooperation, even in the absence of institutions that formalize cooperative behavior. This effect is increased when individuals have the opportunity to signal to other group members their willingness to provide information.

Bio: Ursula Kreitmair is in her final year of the joint PhD program in Public Policy of IU's School of Public & Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science. Her research concerns the management of common-pool resources at both the local and international levels and the utilization of behavioral research to craft more effective environmental policies. She is particularly interested in the role of information and social networks in determining collective action outcomes in social dilemmas and studies these using experimental and computational methods. Ursula holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University; an MSc in Environmental Policy, Planning, and Regulation from the London School of Economics; and an MSc in Environmental and Resource Economics from the University College, London.

The paper for this session is under review, so it will not be placed on our website. Hard copies of the paper will be available upon email request to the author.

December 8, 2014 (Monday) [archive stream]


"Finding a 'Commons' in Roman Law (Public and Private Water Rights)"


Dr. Cynthia Bannon, Department of Classical Studies, IUB


Abstract: Common Pool Resource theory is built on comparative analysis of how communities with different political and social structures manage natural resources in diverse natural and cultural environments (Ostrom 1990). To better understand and develop this model it is worthwhile taking into account historical manifestations of the commons, as argued by Cox (1985). The Roman case is of particular relevance to modern environmental policy because lawyers and economists invoke Roman legal categories as the basis for the use of property rights to manage the environment (Cole and Ostrom 2012). In this paper, I examine three case studies from the Roman world that illustrate the use of property rights to manage local water supplies: the purely private property regime of servitudes, a small civic aqueduct (public), and an irrigation community that something of a public/private hybrid. For each system, I evaluate ownership, access, community and enforcement to reconstruct the interplay between law and social relationships in these local water communities. I draw on modern scholarship on common pool resources to fill in the gaps where the ancient evidence is incomplete and to assess the likely outcomes of the legal regimes. Just as modern communities have implemented various strategies for managing common pool resources, so too at Rome there was no unified concept of the commons, but many salient features of successful CPR management operate in both public and private property regimes in the ancient Roman world.

Bio: Cynthia J. Bannon is associate professor in the Department of Classical Studies, Indiana University Bloomington. Her current research investigates local water communities in the Roman empire of the first three centuries of the common era. She examines the interaction of custom and law, local and Roman norms, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of legal institutions for managing local water supplies. By charting practices across the empire and identifying region-specific solutions informed by local culture, she generates an integrated picture of Roman society and its exploitation of natural resources. Professor Bannon's current research builds on her second book, Gardens and Neighbors: Private Water Rights in Roman Italy (University of Michigan Press, 2009), which explored the settlement patterns, social relationships, and economic interests that shaped the development of legal institutions regulating to private water sources in Roman Italy. Her first book, The Brothers of Romulus: Fraternal Pietas in Roman Law, Literature, and Society(Princeton UP, 1997), focused on the cultural expressions of brotherhood in legal institutions, family dynamics, political rhetoric, and historical narrative. Her interests include Latin prose literature, and Roman intellectual and social history.


December 10, 2014 (Wednesday)


"Governance of Trans-Provincial Water Pollution in Tai Lake, China — From the Perspective of Stakeholder Relations in the Case of Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province"


Hang (Anna) Zhang, PhD Student, Public Management, School of Government, Nanjing University, P.R. China; Ostrom Workshop Visiting Scholar


Abstract: With the impact of extensive economic growth mode and people’s weak consciousness of water source protection, the water environment in the Tai Lake region becomes more and more serious. Trans-provincial water contamination in the Tai Lake region, which is difficult to govern, has become a threat to peoples’ lives and also a major obstacle in the integration process of Yangtze River Delta. Thus, the research on the governance of trans-provincial water pollution in Tai Lake has practical significance. This is a preliminary study on the network relations among each "Stakeholder" and some findings of the important "Stakeholders" who play a key role in policy and decision making and its changes on trans-provincial water pollution management and cooperation of Tai Lake, China. The governance process of Tai Lake can be divided into three phases. In these different three phases, you can see obvious changes in the relations among stakeholders and in the process of governance. After comparing the stakeholder relations and governance mode of those phases, it will be easier to find some important trends and also about today’s governance mode of Tai Lake. However, since today’s mode still cannot solve the problem, it is urgent to explore a collaborative governance model for trans-regional water pollution in the Tai Lake region. This paper is also trying to study how these issues can be solved in the future.

Bio: Hang (Anna) Zhang is a PhD candidate in Public Management at School of Government, Nanjing University, CHINA. She holds a MA in Science of Social Security from Nanjing University. Anna’s intended fields are local governance, collaborative governance, and public policy. Her current research focuses on regional collaborative governance in China’s Yangtze River Delta. She is also interested in research on the governance of trans-jurisdictional water pollution in today’s China. As a visiting scholar in The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, her main purpose here is to study the theory of Polycentricity and Collaborative Governance and try to apply the theory in solving the similar problems of today's China.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.