The Institutional Underpinnings of a Free Society in the Works of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom


This conference explored the thoughts of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, including such ideas as polycentricity, voluntary association, federalism, and local control. We addressed whether the Ostroms were primarily pragmatic problem solvers or truly committed to the preservation of a free society.


Conference Readings

Ostrom, Vincent. The Theory of Public Choice II. Edited by James M. Buchanan and Robert D. Tollison. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1984.

Ostrom, Elinor. Preconditions of Democracy. Edited by Geoffrey Brennan. Tampere, Finland: Tampere University Press, 2006.

Ostrom, Elinor. Social Capital: A Multifaceted Perspective. Edited by Partha Dasgupta and Ismail Serageldin. Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2002.

Ostrom, Elinor. Trust and Reciprocity: Interdisciplinary Lessons from Experimental Research. Edited by Elinor Ostrom and James Walker. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2003.

Ostrom, Elinor. “Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no. 3 (2000): 137-158.

Ostrom, Elinor. “Crowding Out Citizenship.” Scandinavian Political Studies 23, no. 1 (2000): 3-16.

Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Ostrom, Elinor. “Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems.” American Economic Review 100, no. 3 (2010): 641-672.

Ostrom, Elinor. “Polycentric Systems for Coping with Collective Action and Global Environmental Change.” Global Environmental Change 20, no. 4 (2010): 550-557.

Ostrom, Elinor and Bjorn Vollan. “Cooperation and the Commons.” Science 330, no. 6006 (2010): 923-924.

Ostrom, Vincent. The Political Theory of a Compound Republic: Designing the American Experiment. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2008.

Ostrom, Vincent. “Epistemic Choice and Public Choice.” Public Choice 77, no. 1 (1993): 163-176.

Ostrom, Vincent, Charles M. Tiebout, and Robert Warren. “The Organization of Government in Metropolitan Areas: A Theoretical Inquiry.” American Political Science Review 55, no. 4 (1961): 831-842.