Thursday, November 22, 2012

New Article on Ostrom's Impact on American Legal Academy

A new article has been released by the International Journal of the Commons on the impact of Elinor Ostrom’s work on the commons in the United States. The article, entitled “Ostrom and the lawyers: the impact of Governing the Commons on the American legal academy,” is authored by Carol M. Rose of Yale Law School and the University of Arizona Law College. The article traces the periods where Ms Ostrom’s signature work, “Governing the Commons”, was cited most often and the subject areas in which it was cited most frequently. 

The article identifies three areas where "Governing the Commons" had the greatest impact: general property theory, environmental and natural resource law, and intellectual property. In these areas legal scholars found "Governing the Commons" to “support the proposition that people can cooperate to overcome common pool resource issues, managing resources through informal norms rather than either individual property or coercive government.” The article also finds that some legal academics have been critical of some of GC’s findings, and many sought to balance GC’s themes of stability and sustainability with more ‘standard’ legal models supporting open markets, fluid change and egalitarianism. 

The article can be accessed at the International Journal of the Commons website here.

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