Colloquia during Spring 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013




Presented by Dr. Saba Siddiki, Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University


Abstract: A necessary pursuit in public policy scholarship is better understanding of the language of policies intended to structure behavior and the implications thereof. Currently lacking in this literature are methodological approaches that yield micro-level depictions of the linguistic elements constituting policies, while at the same time supporting analyses of macro-level governance questions, such as (i) what is the perceived appropriateness of policies; and (ii) are there differences between actual and perceived policy coerciveness? In this paper, these questions are answered in the context of U.S. aquaculture. Data were obtained through a coding of state level aquaculture policies in Virginia and Florida using the institutional grammar tool (IGT) and semi-structured interviews involving a Q-Sort exercise with thirty members of the aquaculture communities in the two study states. Overall, the findings from this research indicate that policies are likely to be perceived as being less coercive than they really are when policy directives are ambiguous, when they are perceived as being inappropriate, and when enforcement of policies is non-stringent. Further, another finding from this research is that perceptions of policy coerciveness vary based on the substantive focus of policy directives.

BIO: Saba Siddiki is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In her research, Dr. Siddiki studies policy design, policy compliance, and collaborative decision making. Her substantive area of expertise is in food policy. She earned her Doctorate in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver and Masters in International Development from the University of Denver.


Friday, January 18, 2013



NYU Press, 3/11/2013

For details, see:

Presented by David Orentlicher, Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law and Co-Director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN


Abstract: When delegates discussed the structure of the presidency at the Constitutional Convention in June 1787, serious objections to a unitary executive were raised. Edmund Randolph warned, for example, that a one-person presidency would become the "foetus of monarchy."

Controversy over the idea of a single president was predictable. Only recently had the framers freed themselves from the tyranny of King George III, and they were firmly committed to creating a new government that would not abuse its powers and oppress its citizens. It must have seemed preposterous to replace a hereditary monarch with an elected monarch.

To be sure, the framers invoked important arguments for a unitary executive. While Congress would deliberate, the president would act with decisiveness and dispatch. A single president would bring order and energy to the national government. With the passage of time, however, it has become clear that the founding fathers misjudged the consequences of their choice:

They did not anticipate the extent to which executive power would expand and give us an "imperial presidency" that dominates Congress and that too often exercises its authority in ways that are detrimental to the national interest. They did not predict the role that political parties would come to play and how battles to capture the White House would greatly aggravate partisan conflict. They did not recognize that single presidents would represent party ideology much more than the overall public good. And they misjudged the advantages and disadvantages of single versus multiple decision makers.

Had the framers been able to predict the future, they would have been far less enamored with the idea of a unitary executive and far more receptive to the alternative proposals for a plural executive that they rejected. Like their counterparts in Europe, they might well have created an executive branch in which power is shared among multiple persons from multiple political parties.

If the presidency is to fulfill the founding fathers vision and function more effectively, it needs to be reconceived. This need for constitutional change led me to the proposal for reform that I consider in this book — the replacement of the one-person, one-party presidency with a two-person, two-party presidency.

A coalition presidency carries the potential for many important benefits — a balancing of power between the executive and legislative branches, a dampening of partisan conflict in Washington, an executive branch more representative of the entire electorate, real opportunities for third-party candidates to win election, and wiser presidential decision making.

After more than two hundred years with the Constitution's one-person presidency, it may seem preposterous to suggest a plural executive. But a coalition presidency would be far more faithful to the framers' view of executive power. They wanted a president with limited authority who would serve as a co-equal with Congress. They also believed that power should be contained by dividing it and requiring it to be shared. A two-person presidency relies on the framers' structural devices to promote their core values. And by correcting the dysfunction in Washington and making the executive branch operate more effectively, a two-person, bipartisan presidency can be justified even without reference to original intent.

BIO: David Orentlicher is Samuel R. Rosen Professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. A scholar of constitutional law and a former state representative, David also has taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School. He earned degrees in law and medicine at Harvard and specializes as well in health care law and ethics.


Co-sponsored by the Tocqueville Program, Department of Political Science, and Ostrom Workshop

Friday, January 25, 2013




Presented by Guillaume Ansart, Associate Professor of French, Department of French and Italian, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: Condorcet (1743-1794) is the only one among the great French philosophes of the Enlightenment to have been able to follow attentively the development of the American Revolution as well as participate actively in the French Revolution. He was one of the most important constitutional theorists of the revolutionary period, his influence extending long after his death during the Terror. His reflections on the American constitutions, published between 1786 and 1791, helped him formulate the fundamental principles of his political philosophy. More generally, his writings on the United States reflect the widespread enthusiasm for American independence felt in late eighteenth-century French liberal circles, thus confirming the impact of the American Revolution on the French Revolution.

BIO: Guillaume Ansart is Associate Professor of French Literature at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of Réflexion utopique et pratique romanesque au siècle des Lumières: Prévost, Rousseau, Sade (Paris: Minard, 1999) and has recently edited Condorcet's writings on the United States for Classiques Garnier in Paris and translated the same texts for Penn State UP. He has published articles on the eighteenth-century French novel and on the political culture of the late Ancien Régime and the French Revolution.

The paper for this session is a chapter ("Introduction: Condorcet and America") in Condorcet: Writings on the United States that has been published by Pennsylvania State University Press, so it will not be placed on our website. Hard copies of the chapter will be available upon request by email to

Please see information about the book at both: Penn State University Press and Amazon.

Co-sponsored by the Tocqueville Program, Department of Political Science, and Ostrom Workshop

Monday, January 28, 2013




Presented by Dr. Alison Mathie, Manager, Research and Publications, Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada


Abstract: Asset-based community development (ABCD) and related approaches have emerged from multiple theoretical disciplines and diverse experience of local and international development practice. This presentation reflects on the spread of these approaches and their potential for promoting economic citizenship. Using a power analysis, the contribution of asset-based community development is assessed for its role in deepening active citizenship in both the horizontal sense of mutual support and solidarity as well as in the vertical sense of making claims on the State. In combination, mutuality and claim making are the forms of agency that produce community, produce livelihoods and produce the means for the protection of the basis of future livelihoods.

BIO: Dr. Alison Mathie, has worked in the international development field for over 35 years, beginning her career teaching in Nigeria, then working for eight years in Papua New Guinea on gender issues as they relate to both urban and rural livelihoods. Short-term overseas work as an evaluation specialist, researcher and facilitator has taken her to Brazil, India, the Philippines, and several countries in the South Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.

In the fifteen years she has been at the Coady Institute, she has focused on exploring asset-based and citizen-led approaches to community development, and multi-stakeholder approaches to program evaluation. She now coordinates research activities at the Institute, including case study research currently underway that uncovers citizen-led initiatives for sustainable development in North America. This builds on a collection of case studies from around the world that she co-edited with her colleague Gord Cunningham, called From Clients to Citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development.

As an adjunct professor, she teaches in the Development Studies program at St. Francis Xavier University.

Dr. Mathie earned a PhD from Cornell University, USA; an MA from the University of Guelph, Canada; and an MA (Hons.) from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Paper forthcoming in August.

Monday, February 4, 2013




Presented by Daniel Cole, Professor of Law and of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Affiliated Faculty, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington; Michael McGinnis, Professor of Political Science, and Affiliated Faculty, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington; Graham Epstein, Graduate Student, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: The Workshop's IAD and SES Frameworks are useful but flawed mechanisms for understanding and explaining complex human interactions that have important social and ecological consequences. Their flaws include:

in the case of the SES Framework, (a) under-development of ecological variables, and (b) the under-specification of processes or mechanisms to explain how conditions, or changes in conditions, lead to outcomes; and

in the case of the IAD Framework, (a) lack of detail in biophysical conditions and community attributes, (b) both over- and under-specification of types of social interactions (which Lin Ostrom referred to first as action arenas and later as action situations), (c) conflation of outputs and outcomes, (d) neglect of effects of outcomes on adjacent action situations, (e) the dubious assumption that all outcomes are filtered through "evaluative criteria" before effecting social and ecological conditions, (f) lack of elucidation of the "evaluative criteria," and (g) how evaluative interactions feed back into the conditions that affect subsequent interactions at various collective-action and operational levels.

This presentation will offer a new, Combined IAD-SES Framework, which should resolve or at least ameliorate most of those flaws, and offers a promising mechanism for more accurately assessing social and social-ecological interactions than either the IAD Framework or SES Framework alone. One problem the new combined framework does not, and cannot solve, is the inability of either framework to predict success or failure of different sets of institutions. For that, we still need to apply something like Lin's "design principles" based on empirical meta-analyses or some supplementary theoretical construct, such as Amartya Sen's "Assurance Game."


Daniel H. Cole is Professor of Law and Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he also serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

Professor Cole is author or editor of seven books and more than 40 articles, book chapters, and essays. His book Pollution and Property: Comparing Ownership Institutions for Environmental Protection (Cambridge University Press, 2002) was published in Chinese translation by Peking University Press in 2010. That same year, the second edition of his textbook (co-authored with Peter Grossman) Principles of Law and Economics was published by Kluwer/Aspen. Most recently, Professor Cole co-edited with Elinor Ostrom Property in Land and Other Resources (Lincoln Institute 2012). He currently is working on a book about the use and abuse emissions trading and offsets in climate policy (for Cambridge), a four-volume collection of Elinor Ostrom's major works (for Routledge), and an article on "grandfathering" in environmental policy (co-authored with Elinor Ostrom, Thomas Sterner and Maria Damon).

Professor Cole is also a co-Principal Investigator on two current research grants: one from the National Science Foundation (CNH) to study snowmelt-dependent irrigation systems in the western US and Kenya under conditions of climate change; the other a FORMAS grant from the Swedish Research Council on a subcontract from the University of Gothenburg.

Professor Cole is a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU Law School. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall (College for Advanced Study), University of Cambridge, and has served as a Visiting Scholar in the Faculties of Law and Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. In 2011, he was the John S. Lehmann Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael D. McGinnis is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is a Senior Research Fellow (and former Director) of The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, an inter-disciplinary research and teaching center focused on the study of institutions, development, and governance. He has a Ph.D. in political science from The University of Minnesota and a B.S. in mathematics from The Ohio State University. He has published on topics in public policy, institutional analysis, humanitarian aid, arms control, game theory, and the role of faith-based organizations in public policy. His current research focuses on the ways in which health care policy in the U.S. can be improved through increased collaboration among stakeholders at the community or regional level. From January through June 2013 he is on sabbatical leave as a Visiting Professor at The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Graham Epstein is a joint public policy PhD student working out of the Ostrom Workshop. He earned his Bachelor degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology at the University of Waterloo and a Masters in International Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph. He is currently working on a study of adaptive capacity in Northern Norway and various projects related to the sustainability of forest commons.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, February 11, 2013




Presented by Dr. Cristy Watkins, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Social Sciences, The Field Museum, Environment, Culture and Conservation, [ECCo], Chicago, IL; and Dr. Lynne Westphal, Project Leader and Research Social Scientist, USDA, Northern Research Station, People and Their Environments, Evanston, IL

Abstract: The Chicago Region is a hotbed of ecological restoration, with more than 250 organizations banding together under the Chicago Wilderness Alliance to advance the science and practice of ecological restoration. While Chicago Wilderness members share broad common goals outlined in a 1999 Biodiversity Recovery Plan, activities and plans developed to implement these goals vary meaningfully among Chicago Wilderness land managing organizations. To better understand these different models of ecological restoration decision making and how they relate to biodiversity outcomes, an interdisciplinary group of researchers launched the RESTORE (Rethinking Ecological & Social Theories of Restoration Ecology) project (funded by NSF & the Forest Service through the CNHS program). The research uses the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework (Ostrom 2005) in a non-extractive, value-added, resource management issue in an urban setting. As most IAD studies concern extractive situations, this application is unique. Moreover, while the literature reports mainly on rules used in extractive settings, we utilize Crawford and Ostrom's (2005) ADICO syntax and classification system to explore the full range of institutional possibilities, including rules, norms, and strategies. With data collected by interviews, surveys, and participant observation, we were able to conduct a fine-grained analysis of the institutional make-up of each organization in order to parse out subtle differences in a relatively tight-knit action arena. The addition of analysis for perception of landscape and emotion allowed deeper insight into the structure and function of the institutions. By combining these analytical tools, we were able to make distinctions between organizations in terms of the overall decision making style, at both the operational and collective level. And while in many extractive natural resource problems, sanctions from people are of considerable importance, we found that sanctions from the land can also be meaningful "or elses" for restorationists. We will discuss the methods we developed for our application of the ADICO syntax as well as the outcomes of our analysis in the action arena of volunteers and land managers conducting restoration of woodlands throughout the Chicago region.


Cristy Watkins is a social science postdoctoral researcher with the Chicago Wilderness science team and the RESTORE project. She leads the social science research and collaborates heavily with researchers from the USDA Forest Service, UIC, DePaul University, and UIUC. Her past work focused on attitudes and behaviors towards forest management and resource use in Uganda. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in anthropology and in 2009 she received her PhD from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Lynne M. Westphal, PhD, is Project Leader and Research Social Scientist with the US Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Chicago, Illinois (USA). She manages the People and Their Environments research work unit. Recent research investigated the impacts of organizational structure on biodiversity outcomes in Oakland restoration; simultaneous ecological and economic revitalization of a rustbelt landscape; farming community ideas for future farm landscapes that effectively incorporate ecosystem services; and neighborhood level climate friendly practices in Chicago. She co-chairs the Chicago Wilderness Science Team.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013




Presented by Jacob Bower-Bir, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs Joint Program, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington

Abstract: Americans overwhelmingly espouse egalitarian views and are aware of and troubled by growing economic inequalities. Paradoxically, a similarly solid majority support the market as it currently functions and disapprove of redistribution efforts. I theorize that Americans tolerate the grave economic inequalities that so disturb them because they think those inequalities are fair. Using endowment experiments, I show that economic fairness, as Americans conceive of it, exists when economic actors are able to earn their economic station. For people to earn their station, the economic system in which they act must 1) afford them agency in determining economic outcomes, decreasing the influence of stochastic factors, and 2) accurately compensate them for their individual actions and choices. Economic fairness, then, is not a matter of distribution but process, and a fair economic system will be governed by institutions that align outcomes with merit. Next, I use framing experiments and surveys to show that Americans not only want an economic system that meets the aforementioned fairness criteria, but they believe that they already have it. However much Americans are worried by ever worsening economic disparities, they cannot shake their conviction that those disparities are the product of a fair economic system in which people get what they deserve.

BIO: Jacob Bower-Bir investigates the evolution of moral norms and the influence those norms have on various social policies. His current research explores the relationship between peoples' understanding of justice and economic desert and their tolerance for economic inequality. Jacob is conducting additional studies on group decision making, strategic network formation, spatial voting models, and heuristics. His early work focused on the introduction of market forces to traditionally public services, with a special concentration on school choice in American public education. He is broadly interested in the distribution of influence and benefits in collective action scenarios.

Paper forthcoming

Monday, February 18, 2013




Presented by Dr. Justin Ross, Assistant Professor of Public Finance, School of Public and Environmental Affairs; and Affiliated Faculty, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: State revenue forecasts are a subject of seemingly constant critique from politicians, the media, and the academy over the nature of their outcomes as measured by the ability to accurately predict available resources. The opportunity to introduce political biases into the revenue baseline, making the budget envelope more or less constrained, has generated a near universal call for a depoliticization of the process. This also induces some to demand greater certainty and transparency with naïve methods; others request increasingly sophisticated techniques in hopes of obtaining improved accuracy. This paper provides a framework for studying the revenue forecast process in the broader context of a political budget process, and subsequently it highlights the significance of a forecast that is politically accepted. This advances the literature beyond the measurement of forecast error as the sole outcome, because accuracy is irrelevant if the budget process does not respect the forecast as a political constraint. We apply our framework to the case of Indiana by tracking the history of the state consensus forecast from the controversies surrounding its conception through its recent political challenges during the Great Recession.


BIO: Justin M. Ross is an assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. His research focuses on topics in state and local public finance, especially the behavioral impacts of fiscal administration. He received his doctorate in economics from West Virginia University.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013




Presented by Luke Shimek, Joint PhD Student, Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: This paper provides a basic example of the use of network formation games (NFGs) as a formal modeling tool inside the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework. Network formation games are a relatively recent research area within the broader study of networks and are able to maintain the mathematical integrity of standard strategic game-theoretic models while making the structure less linear and removing as many restrictions as possible.

The impetus behind using network formation games in the IAD framework is their ability to readily scale up into supernetworks, in which the nodes are a particular network formation, and the arcs may be Markov chains, dictating transitions between networks. This supernetwork can then act as a node in a super-supernetwork, etc. This is highly useful, since the IAD framework is interested in multi-level analysis.


This article addresses a simple public bad game: there are three players, each with one bag of garbage, and the government disposal/recycling official. The players decide whether to pass their garbage to one of their neighbors at no cost, or to send it to the disposal/recycling center for a diminishing cost per bag. In the base game, there is no side payments between individuals and the players act unilaterally, thus the results are either socially suboptimal or are borne by one or two of the agents. At the collective choice level, players can vote whether they would prefer side payments or to maintain the status quo. Finally, the analysis considers the constitutional level, where the voting procedures are identified (unilateral, majority, or supermajority).


I find the greatest improvement to social welfare results from a coalition assigning a Pigouvian tax to create side-payments between players. Changing the voting from unilateral to majoritarian to super majoritarian generally better distributes the cost of littering, but only weakly lowers the level of trash. However, more important than the results, this model demonstrates a promising future connection between network formation games and the IAD framework.

BIO: Luke Shimek is in his second year of IU's Joint PhD program with concentrations in Public Management and Empirical Theory and Methodology. He has his MA in Economics from IU Bloomington and his BS in Mathematics, Economics and International Relations from Wheaton College, IL. His two primary research interests are in understanding bureaucratic corruption, as well as its causes and consequences, and in developing and applying new methodological techniques to the fields of political science, public management, and the collaborative work done at the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.


Monday, February 25, 2013




Presented by Dr. Arthur Sherwood, Associate Professor, Scott College of Business at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN; Co-Chair, The Co-op Research Project; Consultant, CDS Consulting Cooperative; and Visiting Scholar, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington



"An autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise"—International Cooperative Alliance Definition of a Cooperative.

As democratically owned and controlled businesses, co-ops differ fundamentally from conventional businesses in that each owner has one vote. Typically, the owners will elect a board to govern on their behalf. Because co-op businesses originate from collective action to meet a common (and often diverse) set of needs, there are likely to be unique owner expectations placed on a board governance system in addition to those commonly held regardless of organizational type. Through literature review and gathered data, this research seeks to explore and identify unique and common owner expectations and the resulting implications for co-op governance systems and their development.

Brief Introduction (see paper)

The world has experienced serious economic, social, and political crises in the last decade


The Blueprint for a Cooperative decade states, "in the second half of 2012, following five years of financial turbulence the more developed economies of the world remain in a state of crisis from which there is still no apparent exit, and the developing economies are being impeded in their pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals. In many nations, governments are in retreat, cutting their social and public spending, leaving citizens even more vulnerable to economic turmoil. In others, inequality continues to increase as economic power is shifting dramatically with consequential social impacts."


The authors go on to say, "In the midst of this uncertainty and suffering, co-operatives can provide some hope and clarity of direction for citizens around the world. Uniquely amongst models of enterprise, co-operatives bring economic resources under democratic control. The co-operative model is commercially efficiently and effective way of doing business that takes account of a wider rand of human needs, of time horizons and of values in decision making." (2013, pg. 2)


2012 was declared the Year of Co-operative by the United Nations which resulted in leaders in the cooperative sector to look forward to establishing what they call the "Co-operative Decade". During this cooperative decade, the stated aim is to bring co-ops to the forefront as the acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability, the model preferred by people that is growing faster than other forms of economic enterprise.


But, can democratically owned businesses actually make these differences? Are the elected governors just window dressing on what is really just another conventional business? These questions then beg a third. . .can democratically owned and controlled businesses really simultaneously deliver on the promise of enterprise performance AND a robust and thriving democracy?


This paper takes a step toward addressing these questions through a focus on the unique and common expectations of the governing boards of democratically owned and controlled co-operative businesses in contrast to conventionally owned business enterprises. While there has been considerable study of the governance of conventionally owned businesses (e.g., corporations), little theoretical or empirical research has been done that helps us understand governance of co-operatives.


I first give some background on co-operatives in terms of size and prevalence and how they position themselves as different based on values. Then I will overview a framework that identifies expectations of governing boards including vigilance, strategic leadership for co-operative and corporate boards and unique expectation as democracy advocates for co-operative boards. In the end I will discuss the implications for building co-operative board governance systems and additional research needs to enhance the framework and ultimately study governing board impact on co-operative performance.


NOTE on the White Paper stage of development: This paper is in its conceptual development and continued guidance from the Workshop is highly desired. I am drawing together several literatures to build a framework for understanding expectations of co-op board governance. After this phase of development, I will gather data related to governing behaviors/activities to enhance and modify the framework which will be presented in Austin Texas at the Consumer Cooperative Management Association meeting (proposal submitted). The ultimate desired outcome is to a) provide useful information regarding governance system design and b) establish an understanding of key governance activities and how they ultimately impact the performance of cooperatively owned businesses. This final work will be presented in September at the Symposium on Cooperative Board Governance at St. Mary's University in Halifax Nova Scotia (proposal to be submitted in May) and then submitted for publication in the academic literature.


BIO: Arthur Sherwood is an Associate Professor of Management at the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University and Visiting Scholar at the Ostrom Workshop. He earned his MBA, MA, and PhD (2002) from IU's Kelley School of Business and his BBA from the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joins the Workshop to blend his research and practical experience regarding cooperative business models with the robust frameworks found at the Workshop. He particularly has an interest in governance/leadership of cooperatively owned enterprises as well as how democratically owned organizations cooperate to share knowledge. During his time as a visiting scholar, he will focus his efforts on leading a project that links researchers, practitioners, and the literature to uncover priority research questions related to cooperatives helping to set a multiyear researcher agenda. All of this framed by Workshop thinking. He is currently collaborating with visiting scholar, Keith Taylor, to implement a series of roundtable discussions that will focus on these issues and culminate in a multistakeholder forum taking place at the Ostrom Workshop in coordination with the Scott College of Business.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Note: Change of location — this colloquium will be held in the Interdisciplinary Experimental Lab in Woodburn Hall 220.

Presented by Ursula Kreitmair, Joint PhD Student, Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: The aim of this colloquium is to test run an experiment seeking to uncover the impact of voluntary provision of contribution information on cooperation in a public goods game. In other words, does the ability to signal general willingness to cooperate improve group outcomes? Colloquium participants will be asked to participate in a trial run of the experiment. After that, I will give a short presentation on the underlying research question and rationale. This colloquium would be of interest to those interested in using experiments and/or Z-tree in their own research, but also to those new to experiments and curious as to how these studies are conducted.

BIO: Ursula Kreitmair is a Ph.D. student in Public Policy at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on collective action surrounding the management of common pool resource problems and other social dilemma situations. She uses experimental methods to explore the role of information in fostering cooperation in social dilemmas.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, March 4, 2013




Presented by Amanda Carrico, Research Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


Abstract: The American lawn has been the topic of much scrutiny due to its intensive water, energy, and chemical requirements. When making lawn care decisions, the American homeowner is faced with a dilemma in which desires to achieve an idealized lawn aesthetic are in conflict with the collective benefits of protecting public goods such as clean air and water. Yet, homeowners are also faced with a second dilemma due to the fact that neighborhood property values are interdependent. As such, the avoidance of water, energy, and chemical inputs may also be considered a failure to cooperate in protecting neighborhood property values. In this talk, I will examine decisions to apply fertilizer as a particular lawn care behavior that produces both positive and negative externalities. Using household survey data from the Nashville Yard Project—an interdisciplinary NSF-funded study examining lawn care practices in the Richland Creek Watershed—I will examine the tradeoffs residents make between personal aesthetic preferences, environmental concerns, health concerns, and neighborhood norms and expectations. The practical implications of these findings in terms of fertilizer application rates, environmental impacts, and policy opportunities for reducing the environmental impacts of lawn care will be discussed.

BIO: Dr. Carrico's research broadly examines psychological and social dimensions of environmentally significant behavior. This includes behaviors that impact the environment as well as behavioral responses to environmental change. Much of her work has sought to identify opportunities within the individual and household sector for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the effectiveness of various approaches to inducing voluntary behavior change. She also has work underway that attempts to explain behavioral responses to changing environmental conditions among resource-dependent communities within Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In this line of work, she is particularly interested in understanding the psychological and social factors that facilitate or constrain adaptation behavior.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013




Presented by Ursula Kreitmair, Joint PhD Student, Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Ostrom Workshop; and Jacob Bower-Bir, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs joint program, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: Many analyses rely on the unitary actor assumption, yet group decision-making differs substantially from decisions made by individuals (Cooper & Kagel, 2005). Groups tend to behave more risk-neutral in settings of uncertainty (Shupp & Williams, 2008), more competitively in strategic settings, and more rational in problem-solving tasks (Davis, 1992). Interestingly, Sutter (2009) finds that behavior exhibited by individuals representing groups (i.e., salient members) mirrors these findings. However, this result has not been tested in a strategic setting where groups compete over scarce resources. Yet social and political interactions are often strategic in nature, thus limiting the policy implications of Sutter's findings. Furthermore, much of the literature on group decision-making assumes equal distribution of payoffs within groups, which, again, limits the applicability of these findings to policy processes. The talk will present an experimental research proposal that seeks to fill the aforementioned gaps in the literature. We will introduce an experimental design based on a nested public goods game that allows us to compare individual decision-making with group and representative decision-making.


Ursula Kreitmair is a Ph.D. student in Public Policy at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on collective action surrounding the management of common pool resource problems and other social dilemma situations. She uses experimental methods to explore the role of information in fostering cooperation in social dilemmas.

Jacob BowerBir investigates the evolution of moral norms and the influence those norms have on various social policies. His current research explores the relationship between peoples' understanding of justice and economic desert and their tolerance for economic inequality. Jacob is conducting additional studies on group decision making, strategic network formation, spatial voting models, and heuristics. His early work focused on the introduction of market forces to traditionally public services, with a special concentration on school choice in American public education. He is broadly interested in the distribution of influence and benefits in collective action scenarios.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, March 18, 2013




Presented by Daniel DeCaro, Postdoctoral Researcher, Ostrom Workshop, and Goldstone Percepts and Concepts Lab, Indiana University Bloomington; and Affiliate, Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility, and Lecturer, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville


Abstract: Research on common-pool resource management shows that under the right circumstances communities can self-govern to achieve lasting ecological benefits (e.g., Ostrom 1990, 2010). Participatory decision making and economic sanctions have emerged as two important factors that determine the success or failure of such self-governance. However, the psychological mechanisms responsible for these outcomes are not always clear. Furthermore, groups can behave in ways that are not anticipated by conventional theories within economics or psychological science alone. During this talk, I will share some early findings from our interdisciplinary common-pool resource experiments, which seek to address these problems. Our methodological approach will be discussed within an interdisciplinary framework that integrates concepts of procedural justice and motivation from social-psychology with Elinor Ostrom's (1990, 2009) Institutional Analysis & Development and Social-Ecological Systems frameworks (DeCaro and Stokes 2008, DeCaro 2010, 2011, DeCaro and Stokes, under review).

BIO: Daniel DeCaro is an interdisciplinary social scientist, with a background in social cognition (cognitive and social psychology) and an applied interest in the conditions that promote the social sustainability of environmental institutions. Daniel has expertise in both laboratory and field-based research in the domain of human motivation and decision-making. He is especially interested in the basic psychological processes of democracy, and has worked with scholars from many fields to develop an interdisciplinary framework to examine how public participation in environmental decision making influences critical outcomes in environmental management. His recent work with Nobelist Elinor Ostrom examines how members of a community come together to successfully manage common-pool natural resources (e.g., forest systems, watersheds). This work also extends Ostrom's research on linked social-ecological systems, seeking to identify which specific forms of public participation are best suited to particular social/environmental contexts and how those solutions might evolve over time.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Background Reading
"Lab Experiments for the Study of Social-Ecological Systems" by Marco A. Janssen, Robert Holahan, Allen Lee, Elinor Ostrom in Science 328, 613-17 (2010);

Wednesday, March 20, 2013




Presented by Sanchayan Nath, Joint PhD Student, Department of Political Science and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: Studies on the role of leadership in collective-action situations, social dilemma situations, or in commons related scenarios have been limited. Ostrom's SES (social-ecological) framework, however, identifies leadership/entrepreneurship variables as being strongly associated with successful collective action outcomes (Ostrom 2009). Persha et al. (2011) observe that the "causal pathways" and the "complex relationship" between factors (that affect forest conditions) and the resulting social and ecological outcomes have not been systematically studied in empirical scholarly research. The research question that I seek to answer in this paper is — What is the effect of leadership on the trade-off between social and ecological outcomes in community managed forests? My study uses data collected by the IFRI (International Forestry Resources & Institutions) program between 1993 and 2008 from 108 forests across 13 countries. I find that "User-group leadership" is strongly associated causally with "Trade-off in Outcomes" irrespective of the contextual variables used.

BIO: Sanchayan Nath is a doctoral scholar in the Joint PhD Program in Public Policy at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and the Department of Political Science. His doctoral research examines the relationship between leadership and outcomes in collective action scenarios around water bodies in urban centers in India. Prior to joining the doctoral program, he has worked for more than five years across the academic, nonprofit and corporate sectors. He holds a graduate degree in management from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and an undergraduate degree in engineering from RVCE Bangalore in India. He has also completed a post graduate diploma in environmental law from the National Law School of India University Bangalore in India.


Monday, March 25, 2013




Presented by Josephine van Zeben, Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: This paper sets out the potential of polycentricity as "outside" option for the development of the European Union, juxtaposed with further European centralization and renationalization. It shows the potential of polycentricity in safeguarding several fundamental European principles such as subsidiarity, and establishes a research agenda for a polycentric Europe.

BIO: Josephine van Zeben is a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Ostrom Workshop from January 2013. Josephine received her PhD in Law and Economics at the University of Amsterdam in May 2012. Her main research interests center around the division of regulatory power between different regulators. Thus far, her work has focused on the European Union and in particular its environmental and climate change policies. Her research at the Ostrom Workshop is funded by the Niels Stensen Fellowship and is called: "A Polycentric Europe?" The goal of the "Polycentric Europe" research project is to embrace, rather than simplify, the unprecedented complexity of modern regulation. The potential of polycentric analysis for assessing the functioning of the European Union has not yet been fully explored within the existing legal, and law and economics, literature. A general theoretical framework for mapping the system of governance within the European Union will be developed through which the functioning of specific policy areas can be assessed, particularly: climate and energy policy, public health, and the regulation of the Eurozone.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013




Presented by Tiago JacaúnaPhD Candidate in the Social Sciences, University of Campinas, Brazil; and Visiting Scholar, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: Multiple actors and institutions coordinate environmental policy in the Brazilian Amazon. Among the main policies for environmental conservation are the creation of different kinds of protected areas and special permits for groups to control the use of natural resources. Various institutions and actors with diverse interests share the management of natural resources through a governance network. The purpose of this research is to understand the environmental governance of the Brazilian Amazon as a social network in which the public policy is coordinated and resources are distributed.

BIO: Tiago da Silva Jacaúna is a PhD candidate in Social Sciences at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Universidade Estadual de Campinas), Brazil, where he takes part in the line of research "Culture and Politics" and in the Environmental Studies and Research Center (NEPAM, Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais). His doctoral dissertation is about institutional analysis using social network analysis for comparing different institutions (formal and informal) responsible for controlling natural resources in the Brazilian Amazon, specifically in the State of Amazonas. He holds an MS in Sociology and a BS in Social Sciences at the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM, Universidade Federal do Amazonas), and a BS in Economics at the Laureate International Universities.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, April 1, 2013




Presented by Dani Rodrik, Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


Abstract: Every rational choice model has specific ideas embedded in it about (a) what agents should be maximizing, (b) how the world works, and (c) what tools agents have at their disposal to further their interests. Once these assumptions are recognized, vested interests become much less determining and the space of possible outcomes much wider. While this is true of any economic model, the failure to recognize the role of ideas in shaping interests (and their pursuit) has more serious implications in political economy. An expanded analysis that takes ideas seriously opens up new avenues for agency, leadership, and policy analysis. It also enables an explanation for the "anomaly" that many reforms benefit the elites who blocked them. A key contribution of the paper is an analogy between ideas that relax resource constraints ("technological progress") and ideas that relax political constraints. Once we understand how ideas of the second kind have a role to play in political economy, we can begin to think about how they can be introduced systematically and more formally into the analysis.

BIO: Dani Rodrik is the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has published widely in the areas of international economics, economic development, and political economy.

He was awarded the inaugural Albert O. Hirschman Prize of the Social Science Research Council in 2007. He has also received the Leontief Award for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, honorary doctorates from the University of Antwerp and Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, and research grants from the Carnegie Corporation, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation. He is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Centre for Economic Policy Research (London), Center for Global Development, and Council on Foreign Relations.

His articles have been published in the American Economic Review,Quarterly Journal of EconomicsJournal of Political EconomyJournal of Economic GrowthJournal of International EconomicsJournal of Development Economics, and other academic journals. His 1997 book Has Globalization Gone Too Far? was called "one of the most important economics books of the decade" in Business Week. He is also the author of One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth (Princeton 2007) and ofThe New Global Economy and Developing Countries: Making Openness Work (Overseas Development Council, Washington DC, 1999). His most recent book The Globalization Paradox was published by Norton in 2011.

He is a past editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics. He has given, among others, the Bharat Ram Memorial Seminar in Delhi (2011), the Merih Celasun Memorial Lecture in Ankara (2010), the Sir Arthur Lewis Distinguished Lecture at the University of the West Indies, Barbados (2009), the Yan Fu Memorial Lecture in Beijing (2006), the WIDER Annual Lecture (2004), the Gaston Eyskens Lectures (2002), the Carlos F. Diaz Alejandro Lecture at the Latin American meeting of the Econometric Society (2001), the Alfred Marshall Lecture of the European Economic Association (1996), and the Raul Prebisch Lecture of UNCTAD (1997). His most recent research is concerned with the determinants of economics growth and the consequences of international economic integration.

Professor Rodrik holds a Ph.D. in economics and an MPA from Princeton University, and an A.B. (summa cum laude) from Harvard College.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Economics and Ostrom Workshop

Wednesday, April 3, 2013




Presented by Patricia Hania, Graduate Student, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada


Abstract: "New governance" theory, which is premised upon a participatory, collaborative and flexible decision-making process, has emerged as a leading regulatory theory in the legal scholarship. The shift to a governance model in Ontario's water source protection planning sector is examined in this article. Water governance, under the Clean Water Act, 2006 (CWA), is a participatory, pluralistic and localized mode of governance that is carried out by a group of State and non-State actors called a Source Protection Committee (SPC). This merging of private and public spheres suggests that environmental policy is now viewed as a shared activity practiced by a heterogeneous group of actors that has enabled non-State actors to become regulators of public goods.

Given the legislative infancy of the CWA and the experimental nature of these SPC committees, the aim of this article is to unravel the practice of new governance theory as played out at an SPC. In this article, the new governance theory as expressed in Professor Orly Lobel's ReNew Deal framework is relied upon to begin to understand the legal foundation of the CWA as a new mode of governance in Ontario. The methodology applied is a case study approach based on the observation of the Lake Erie Source Protection Region SPC (Lake Erie SPC). I argue that the mode of governance as practiced in Ontario's water source protection planning sector is a state-centric model of decision-making. The new governance theory, as set out by Lobel, is much more robust in theory then observed at the Lake Erie SPC.

Interestingly, the participant observation of the Lake Erie SPC does illustrate how law is instrumental in creating participatory spaces of knowledge making and, in particular in constructing a site of knowledge generation that enables, facilitates and manages flows of information and learning. Information is the key commodity in the development of the water source protection plan.

BIO: Patricia Hania is a Ph.D. Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada. As a public law scholar, she is interested in legal governance regimes that operate at a local scale. Her doctoral research is grounded in the socio-ecological resiliency systems ideology (E. Ostrom and C.S. Holling). She studies how norms interact, regulate, and become embedded in legal sites of contested, complex, environmental decision-making and social relations.

Her doctoral research examines models of water governance in Canada and considers the question: what lessons can be taken from social-ecological resiliency theory and applied to environmental governance? By situating legal governance in the social-ecological resiliency systems construct, her research recognizes the interconnected, flexible, adaptive, and polycentric dimensions of natural and human systems. Attributing governance systems, specifically, the process of decision-making embedded in a legal framework, with a socio-ecological perspective creates the opportunity to consider the resiliency characteristics of a governance regime. Put simply, we can begin to imagine how legal regimes and norm creation are adaptable, flexible, and responsive to change.

The paper for this session has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, so it will not be placed on our website. Hard copies of the paper will be available upon request by email to

Friday, April 5, 2013




Presented by José Antonio Aguilar Rivera, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Notre Dame University, IN

Abstract: In my book En Pos de la Quimera (2000), I proposed that the mistake of the Latin American "constitutional moment" explanation was to assume that, at the time, there was a well-established theoretical model. There were three general problems. First, there were different and often contradictory interpretations of the same doctrine—separation of powers being one example. Second, because of limited governing experience, it was impossible to correctly assess the relative effectiveness of several of the model's institutional components; there was simply insufficient empirical evidence to evaluate its performance. Finally, there were many holes in the theoretical structure of liberalism. A pattern becomes evident when reviewing the record of the Latin American constitutional experiment. Many Latin Americans saw themselves as heirs and agents, rather than creators, of the liberal institutional model under construction. The results obtained with the application of the model were not systematized to create general theories about representative government. They had nothing to report except that it did not work as expected. Why? What important observations did this experiment produce for Western political theory? Since representative governments were established in all Latin American nations, it is plausible to imagine that what occurred there would aid them to critically reconsider their principles and institutions. The experiment tested several institutional components of the model. The result could have served to revise suppositions and, ultimately, first principles. Nonetheless, this type of reflection occurred only a handful of times in Latin America. I am interested, then, in those moments when critical revisions of theories and of adopted systems did occur. Universal statements were articulated in some cases. The results produced important ideas for political theory as a whole.

BIO: José Antonio Aguilar Rivera (Ph. D. Political Science, University of Chicago) is professor of political science at the División de Estudios Políticos, CIDE (Mexico City). He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame, the Institute for Advanced Studies, Warwick University and Visiting Scholar at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar. He is the author, among other books, of: El sonido y la furia. La persuasión multicultural en México y Estados Unidos (México: Taurus, 2004), En pos de la quimera: reflexiones sobre el experimento constitucional atlántico (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2000), La geometría y el mito. Un ensayo sobre la libertad y el liberalismo en México, 1821-1970 (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2010) and Ausentes del Universo. Reflexiones sobre el pensamiento político hispanoamericano en la era de la construcción nacional, 1821- 1850 (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica/CIDE, 2012). He is the editor of Liberty in Mexico. Writings on Liberalism from the Early Republican Period to the Second Half of the Twentieth Century (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2012) and Las bases sociales del crimen organizado y la violencia en México (Mexico: CIES, 2012). He is also the author of articles in the Journal of Latin American StudiesHistoria MexicanaRevista de Occidente, and Cardozo Law Review, among others. He publishes regularly in Nexos, one of the leading Mexican intellectual magazines.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Co-sponsored by the Tocqueville Program and the Ostrom Workshop

Monday, April 8, 2013




Presented by Scott Barrett, Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY


Abstract: There are two kinds of climate change, "gradual" and "abrupt and catastrophic." The literature on collective action has previously focused on limiting gradual climate change. My talk will address both kinds of climate change together, with a focus on abrupt and catastrophic climate change. I shall begin by summarizing a theoretical model that makes extremely sharp predictions about behavior. If the threshold that triggers catastrophe is certain, and the collective costs of avoiding catastrophe are low relative to the benefits, the model predicts countries will act to avoid catastrophe. With threshold uncertainty, there exist two behavioral regimes. Outside a cutoff for uncertainty, countries are trapped in a prisoners' dilemma, and the model predicts that the threshold will be crossed. Inside the cutoff, the model predicts that players will coordinate to avert catastrophe. According to the model, uncertainty about the impact of catastrophe should make no difference to behavior. Experimental tests (in joint work with Astrid Dannenberg) involving 800 people and a novel experimental design strongly confirm these predictions, while also providing new insights into the reasons for the behavior inside and outside the cutoff for threshold uncertainty. I shall conclude my talk by briefly discussing the relevance of this work for climate treaty design.

BIO: Scott Barrett is the Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

He was previously on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and, before that, at the London Business School. He has also been a visiting scholar at Yale University. This year, he is a visiting scholar at Princeton University's Institute for International and Regional Studies. He is also chairman of the advisory board to the Beijer Institute, Royal Swedish academy of Sciences, a research fellow with CESifo in Munich and the Kiel Institute of World Economics, and a member of the scientific council of iddri in Paris. He has long been involved in policy, and was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

His research is on international cooperation and treaty design. He is the author of Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making and Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods, both published by Oxford.

He was awarded the Erik Kempe Prize and the Resources for the Future Dissertation prize and received his PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.

The paper for this session will be submitted for publication, so it will not be placed on our website. Hard copies of the paper will be available upon request by email to

Background Readings
"Climate Treaties and Approaching Catastrophes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

With Astrid Dannenberg, "Climate Negotiations Under Scientific Uncertainty," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Co-sponsored by the Department of Economics and Ostrom Workshop

Wednesday, April 10, 2013




Presented by Li Guoqing, Director of the Urban Policy and Urban Culture Research Center, Institute of Urban and Environmental Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China; and Visiting Scholar, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: Since 1998, when China started implementing private housing reform, commercial condominium communities have been formed and become the main form of community in China. Along with this shift, homeowners associations become a new type of self-managed organization that represents a new interest group in Chinese urban society.

Historically, property management in China can be divided into two stages. During the first stage, the property management company had carried out Autocratic management, resulting in many social conflicts.

This model was first established in Shenzhen in 1981, so people call it "Shenzhen Model." The second stage starts from 2011, homeowners associations in Beijing are generally establishing and implementing self-governance. It is called the "Beijing Model."

The central problem for homeowners association development in contemporary China is how to establish a clear relationship between reasonable homeowners' internal structure and their utilization of an external management service system. Examining American and Canadian property management development experience, the fundamental thing we see is that property management should be defined in economic terms and must be clearly defined as separate from social management. First of all, we must differentiate individual homeowners' status as property owner and the status of the entire condominium as a commercial entity.

Secondly, we must clarify the role and develop professional ethics for the property manager as agent of the Board of Directors. Thirdly, we must establish and improve external property management marketing service systems and realize the marketization of the property service system.

BIO: Guoqing Li is the director of the Urban Policy and Urban Culture Research Center, Institute of Urban & Environmental Studies. The center provides research and policy recommendations to central and local governments in China on issues related to urban social development and urban planning. Li received his Ph.D. from Keio University in Japan. His current research interest is to understand how American homeowners establish the board of directors to implement effective management of the common property by using Ostrom's theory of "Common Pool Resources." The research hopes to develop guidelines for helping homeowners in China to self-manage their properties effectively.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Friday, April 12, 2013




Presented by Claudia Konrad, PhD Candidate, Economic and Social Sciences, Trier University, Germany; Scholar, Transformation Research Cluster, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin; Consultant, Engagement Global, Bonn; and Visiting Scholar, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: Ecuador was accepted to the UN-REDD Programme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) as one of the twelve pilot countries that are currently developing a national framework to regulate REDD activities in March 2011. The Socio Bosque Program is an important component of Ecuador's REDD strategy that comprises an incentive-based policy promoting direct payments for areas under conservation to landowners. Thus, land tenure is a prerequisite for the implementation of the program.

However, research on the impact of officially granted land tenure on forest conditions in the Amazon region shows that conservation outcomes are difficult to predict due to the influence of factors at the macro-level that cause pressure on land and natural resources (e.g. increased oil extraction, agrarian reform in the 1960s) and complex tenure and management regimes at the local level.

In Ecuador, legalizing land ownership at the national level is an ongoing and time-intensive process that is currently pushed forward to facilitate participation in the Socio Bosque Program. Land can be held individually or collectively, whereas indigenous nationalities mostly hold collective land titles. However, at present land tenure is highly informal in the rural areas of the Amazon region and related patterns and dynamics of land use are poorly understood by national decision-makers.

Furthermore, research on participatory approaches in the field of international cooperation indicates that the promising idea of empowerment through the participation of local actors has a great potential for raising conflicts of authority when decision-making processes are handed over to or adopted by interest groups who are not perceived as legitimate at the local level. This is often the case when participation is not understood as self-governance by national and international agencies and local actors find themselves confronted with externally designed guidelines.

Official land tenure regulations are located within legal pluralistic contexts at the local level where international and national policies and local rights and norms are often overlapping. The research addresses the question, if the Socio Bosque Program provides an approach to secure collective land ownership and is perceived as a backup of local government systems related to forest resource use? Or does the program enhance contestation, uncertainty and conflict over legitimate ownership? The case study refers to the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, located in the Amazon basin of Ecuador.

BIO: Claudia Konrad is a PhD candidate in Economic and Social Sciences at Trier University, Germany, and scholar of the Transformation Research Cluster of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin. Prior to her PhD research, she has worked in the non-profit sector on climate change and social transformation in Germany and for the German Development Service at the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment. She holds a BA (Münster University) and MA (Hamburg University) in Social-Cultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Environmental Mediation (Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology/Hagen University).


Monday, April 15, 2013




Presented by Dr. Robin Turner, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN

Abstract: Nature tourism may bring to mind beautiful landscapes, natural wonders, and exotic wildlife. Yet Southern African nature tourism is big business, generating more revenue than farming or fishing. Nature tourism is inherently political in that it generates conflicts around the new opportunities and new threats it presents to local people. The growth of nature tourism has generated jobs, money, and development projects in some rural communities while leading to job loss and displacement elsewhere. Nature tourism may reinforce or restructure local power relations. Tourism's rise has altered the distribution of power in some villages by empowering new organizations that control tourism-derived jobs and money at the expense of established authorities. In others, nature tourism has reinforced chiefly authority. Nature tourism can profoundly affect people for good and for ill. So how exactly does nature tourism influence rural politics in different contexts? What explains the wide variation in nature tourism's effects across and within localities? This talk will address these questions.

BIO: Robin Turner is an assistant professor of political science at Butler University in Indianapolis Indiana. Focusing principally on southern Africa, her work examines the interplay between state policies and local practices over time and looks closely at how past and present ways of structuring property and authority shape contemporary political economies and influence constructions of identity. While completing her book manuscript on nature tourism and rural politics, Dr. Turner is also analyzing the politics of traditional leadership and researching anti-mine advocacy in rural South Africa.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013




Presented by Shannon Lee WatkinsSarah MinceyJess Vogt, Rachael Bergmann, and Burney Fischer, Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group at CIPEC, Indiana University Bloomington

Abstract: In this presentation, we will propose a research design and solicit feedback on this design from the audience.

We will propose a research design to answer the following questions:

1. Does institutional design of the tree planting program affect planted-tree success?

2. Does participation in a tree-planting project have social effects on neighborhoods and individuals?

We use data from non-profit urban tree planting programs (from here on, "tree-planting") in 6 eastern U.S. cities. We evaluate both ecological and social outcomes of non-profit tree-planting programs at the neighborhood, individual and tree level. Ecological outcomes of interest are tree success (survival and subsequent growth). Social outcomes of interest include whether or how tree planting increases social cohesion, community resilience, and collective activities. Practically, non-profits hope their trees survive and grow, and that their tree-planting programs strengthen familiarity and trust among neighbors; increase community capacity to be resilient in the face of external shocks to the community; improve understanding of the benefits of urban trees and greater awareness of an individual's ecological surroundings, and initiate future instances of community collective actions to improve social, public health or environmental conditions in the neighborhood. Our research is informed by the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) Framework (e.g., Ostrom 2009) and the Model of Urban Forest Sustainability (Clark et al. 1997).

Our tree design is a post-test only with stratified random selection of tree-planting neighborhoods and stratified systematic random sampling of trees within neighborhoods. Within selected neighborhoods, we sample every other tree (50% of planted trees) and gather data for each sample tree according to the Planted Tree Re-Inventory Protocol.

Our social design is a post-test only with non-randomized treatment and comparison groups and with stratified random sampling. We use the same sample of neighborhoods as the tree design and match these neighborhoods to comparison neighborhoods using a suite of covariates to create a similar-looking comparison group. Within neighborhoods, we select a random sample of residents and over-sample participants. We are unable to randomly assign treatment (tree-planting) to neighborhoods and we are unable to randomly assign participation in tree planting to individuals. We include several mechanisms to reduce selection bias. To statistically address non-random selection of individuals in participating neighborhoods we use propensity score matching and two-stage least squares.

We will begin pilot research this summer and the full project with all cities in Spring 2014. We would really appreciate your feedback before data collection begins in June 2013.

The webpage for this project is:

BIO: The IU Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group at CIPEC (BUFRG: studies the urban forest as a social-ecological system. Their work draws from the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) Framework developed by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues (e.g., Ostrom 2009) and the Model of Sustainable Urban Forestry developed by Jim Clark and colleagues (Clark et al. 1997) to generate an integrative framework to inform the study of the factors that influence the structure and function of urban vegetation as well as social outcomes in urban neighborhoods. BUFRG was recently awarded a U.S. Forest Service funding through the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) to study the influence of non-profit facilitated tree plantings on neighborhood SES outcomes in 6 eastern U.S. cities. The BUFRG team is led by Burney Fischer (SPEA Clinical Professor and Ostrom Workshop Co-Director), and also includes: Shannon Lea Watkins, SPEA PhD student in Public Affairs; Jessica Vogt, SPEA PhD Student in Environmental Science; Rachael Bergmann, SPEA Masters student (MPA/MSES); and Sarah Mincey, SPEA Visiting Lecturer.


Friday, April 19, 2013




Presented by Seymour Drescher, University Professor of History and Sociology, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Abstract: Beginning with his American journey, Tocqueville re-envisioned public and political life as ideally dispersed over a wide terrain outside the institutions of the national state. Civil society was a handmaiden of democratic political society. Citizenship was learned and self-government implemented through debate and argument suffused throughout society. This was the means by which democratic liberty and equality could best be sustained. Tocqueville also inescapably encountered slavery in America. He regarded it not only as an offense to the principles of humanity, religion and human dignity, but the very antithesis of a society dedicated to civil and political liberty. Tocqueville viewed the possibilities of its abolition in three different sites: the United States of America; the British empire; and his own nation's overseas possessions. In only one of the three societies did he confidently embrace civil society mobilization as the path to the abolition of slavery. In the other two cases he found himself either unable to view emancipation as a step towards liberal democracy, or declined to embrace his own prescription as the preferred means to emancipation. A comparative examination of the three cases indicates both the opportunities and limitations of mobilized civil societies as preferred means of political action.

BIO:Seymour Drescher is Distinguished University Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He also taught at Harvard University and was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Drescher has also been a Fulbright Scholar, an NEH Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. Dr. Drescher is one of most renowned Tocqueville scholars. Among his numerous writings on Tocqueville are three seminal books, Tocqueville and England (1964), Dilemmas of Democracy(1968), Tocqueville and Beaumont on Social Reform (1968) as well as many important articles such as "Tocqueville's Comparisons: Choices and Lessons," in the Tocqueville Review's special bicentennial issue (2006); and "Who needs Anciennete? Tocqueville on Aristocracy and Modernity" in The History of Political Thought, 24:4 (2003): 624-646. He is also the author of many works on slavery and abolition: Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition (1977, reprinted 2010); Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery(2009). Among his many other works on slavery and abolition are Capitalism and Antislavery (1986); From Slavery to Freedom (1999); and The Mighty Experiment (2002), which was awarded the Frederick Douglass Book Prize by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition in 2003. He has also co-edited a number of books, including, Antislavery, Religion and Reform (1980); The Meaning of Freedom (1992); A Historical Guide to World Slavery (1998); Slavery (2001); and Who Abolished Slavery? Slave Revolts and Abolitionism (2010).

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Co-sponsored by the Tocqueville Program and the Ostrom Workshop

Monday, April 22, 2013




Presented by Dr. Michael Fotos, Lecturer, Department of Political Science and Ethics, Politics, and Economics, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Abstract: The paper assesses Vincent Ostrom's critique of contemporary mainstream approaches to political theorizing. Ostrom challenges the epistemic choices at the foundation of modern political science and proposes a "democratic" alternative based on the theory of federalism he derives from The Federalist and Tocqueville's Democracy in America. The paper examines Ostrom's scholarship, relates it to the empirical research Elinor Ostrom and he conducted, advised, or sponsored at The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, and concludes that Ostrom's democratic alternative meets the definitional conditions of an alternative scientific paradigm as outlined by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The paper presents a framework for comparing alternative theories of politics and policy analysis and for assessing their relative successes at making warrantable empirical claims.

BIO: Dr. Fotos is a Lecturer in Political Science and Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale University and Associate Program Director and Visiting Assistant Professor in the graduate program in public policy at Trinity College in Hartford CT. He is presently writing a book of lessons in policy analysis based on the work of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. His other research interests and publications relate to coal mining regulation, voter turnout, ecosystem services, and counter-insurgency doctrine and operations.

Dr. Fotos was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. He is a 1978 graduate of Yale College. He holds an MPA from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University. He has a lifelong interest in energy and the environment and has worked in sales and marketing for wind energy, oil, and coal companies, as a senior administrator for state energy and environmental agencies in West Virginia, and as a director of land protection for an environmental NGO. He has taught at Trinity College since 2000 and at Yale since 2007. Dr. Fotos volunteers as a director of the Connecticut Farmland Trust and presently serves as the president of its board of directors.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013




Presented by Zhu Yukun, PhD Candidate in Public Finance at Xi'an Jiaotong University, China; and Visiting Scholar, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington


Abstract: China's tax system has experienced several major reforms for better adapting to an emerging society characterized by fast economic growth, since its economic transformation in 1978. Although the tax system includes several categories of taxes related to environmental resources, no environmental taxes in a strict legal sense currently exist. With the alarming rate of environmental degradation in the past 30 years, China's environmental protections have been receiving increasing worldwide attention. Although the environmental tax was successfully carried out in most OECD countries to some extent, the current environmental tax and other regulations had ineffective implemented at the local level in China.

Any new Chinese policy instrument needs to operate within the existing system, ultimately becoming a part of and functioning together with its other components. The case of environmental tax is thus no exception in this regard. China's environmental law system was born out of socialist planning, and had evolved in the course of China's transition to market-oriented economy. However, relatively little research has focused on the description and critical analysis of the institutional factors influencing governance of environment and natural resources in China. Even less attention has been given to the relationship between China's current political-economic system and environmental protection. One important institutional reason of environmental regulations under-enforced is the soft budget constraint syndrome (SBC), which is a well-known phenomenon in socialist and transition economies. It becomes essential and meaningful to analyze SBC syndrome effects in relationship to environmental tax enforcement, considering the fact that the bulk of environmental-tax source is from state- or province-owned enterprises in China.

In our research, we construct a theoretical framework to examine the current political-economic system's impact of multi-path interference on the introduction and enforcement of environmental tax in China. We argue that the pervasive SBC syndrome existing among environment-related SOEs, on the condition of current inter-governmental and environmental authorities system, are the root cause of environmental regulations under-enforced. Only by reforming and adjusting the relationship of the inter-governments and state-owned enterprises can the State effectively harden the budget constraints of the enterprises, and improve the enforcement of environmental tax.

BIO: Yukun Zhu is a PhD candidate in Public Finance at Xi'an Jiaotong University, China. He is a visiting scholar at the Ostrom Workshop and Law school from August 2012. His research interest is to evaluate economic and social efficiency of environmental policies and strategies in China and undertake a comparison study with those in post-communist European countries, aiming to pursue the institutional constraints influencing governance of environment and natural resources in China. He has undertaken research on the interest's conflicts between the governments, mining companies and the residents during the process of resources extraction from the perspective of property rights allocation of mineral resource. If the decision-makers should take vulnerable groups into account, such as minorities and low-income groups of the western region in China, environmental governance must be specially designed.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013




Presented by Violeta Cabello, PhD Candidate, Human Geography Department, University of Seville, Spain; and Visiting Scholar, UMI 3157 CNRS: Water, Environment and Public Policy. Center for International and Interdisciplinary Research, University of Arizona, Tucson


Abstract: Water is a relevant resource for rural systems which is complex in multiple ways. This paper has a double aim: to propose a specific method to include water as a variable in rural systems studies with the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism approach and to show the usefulness of this method for the assessment of the implementation of different policies driving rural change in Europe. For these purposes, the river basin scale is chosen, since it is the socio-ecological systemic unit for water management established in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/CE. Based on the water metabolism approach, a multi-scale water-use account is provided for a Mediterranean river basin in Andalusia, integrating water cycle, ecosystems and social levels. Particularly focusing on agricultural production, a relevant set of indicators is proposed in order to analyze internal (economic, institutional) and external (biophysical) constraints shaping different metabolic patterns. Finally, the integration of water and agricultural planning is assessed in terms of biophysical feasibility of the new metabolic patterns generated by the scenarios posed in these policies. While on a European level water policy is ambitious in terms of ecological conservation, the entanglement of multiple scales of political and economic organization with the diversity of local new ruralities blurs these priorities in a rather slow transition to a new water culture.

BIO: Violeta Cabello Villarejo (Environmental Scientist Msc. Applied Ecology, Halmstad University, Sweden; and Msc. Integrated River Basin Management, University of Granada, Spain) is part of the Land Structures and Systems (GIEST) of the University of Seville and the Integrated Assessment: Sociology, Technology and the Environment (IASTE) research groups of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Her PhD is devoted to develop the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystems Metabolism (MuSIASEM) approach to study water use in socio-ecological systems in semi-arid Mediterranean river basins with the aims of analyzing the integration of water and other rural development policies, following the Water Framework Directive implementation in Spain and assisting participatory processes for water planning.