Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 735
Institutions/Ostrom: Question: How do institutions emerge in groups and how do they change? For example, groundwater management in the Los Angeles area.
Institution theory/tradition: typically assumes a Hobbesian state of nature without contracts and rules.
OstromVsTradition: 1. This picture is inaccurate where people regularly meet. 2. Rule freedom must not be confused with the absence of rules. 3. If one starts from a state without any rules, a methodical problem arises that one must examine the actual emergence of institutions as a special process. This would obscure the view for solutions.
Brocker I 736
Solution/Ostrom: using the example of the threat to the fresh water supply in Los Angeles from overexploitation and lowering of the groundwater table, Ostrom shows how the conflict between users is structured over a period of 30 years through court rulings and the creation of new administrative institutions. The participants by no means resign to their "dilemma" (OstromVsHardin, see Social goods/Hardin), but rather strive for a further development of overly permissive rules.
Levels/administration: here again, as in the self-organization studied by Ostrom (see Self-organization/Ostrom), the interaction of several levels is decisive for the question of institutional procurement.
Ostrom: The water reservoirs (basins) are not owned by anyone, they are managed by a polycentric group of dedicated public companies lead by private water companies and voluntary producers' associations. (...) Obviously, solving the problems required neither a central regulatory body nor a system of private property. (...) All parties are provided with the relevant information by a court-appointed water inspector (...) The informal sanctions were modest. Regular meetings of the parties involved offer mechanisms for conflict resolution. The organizational units were embedded in larger units. (1)
Brocker I 737
Conclusion: Institutional procurement and change takes place in a process of gathering and exchanging experiences ("accumulation of institutional capital"). (2) The form of these processes is very individual and depends on the problem structure. Commonalities between successful common management systems (see Social Goods/Ostrom) exist in the construction principles (see Self-organisation/Ostrom).

1. Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons. The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge 1990. Dt.: Elinor Ostrom, Die Verfassung der Allmende. Jenseits von Staat und Merkt, Tübingen 1999, p. 178f
2.Ibid. p. 246.

Markus Hanisch, „Elinor Ostrom Die Verfassung der Allmende“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconOstr I
Elinor Ostrom
Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action Cambridge 1990

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-06-18
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