Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 727
Social Goods/Ostrom: Ostrom thesis: Common goods (jointly used goods, social goods) can often be managed successfully and sustainably by their users themselves without the mandatory need for state supervision or individually shared private property.
Brocker I 728
OstromVsTradition/OstromVsHardin: the conditions under which the actors in Garrett Hardin's contribution decide (see Social Goods/Hardin) are very restrictive and are by no means directly transferred to the reality of many common situations.
OstromVsHardin/OstromVsOlson: (see Social Goods/Olson): The pessimistic findings of Hardin and Olson lead either to direct attention away from individual decisions and towards state solutions or to question the millennia-old institution of community property in principle or to ignore it in political decisions. (1)
Solution/Ostrom: more attention must be paid to the problem-solving potential of local individuals. In traditional approaches, individuals are regarded as "prisoners" (2) Nor do they produce "relentless tragedies"(3) (OstromVsHardin).
Brocker I 729
Questions: 1. How and by whom does it come to the provision of the common good management system, i.e. the organisational performance and the rules of the game? 2. how do users ("owners") and providers manage mutual credible commitments of participation and self-restraint? 3. How and by whom is the monitoring and sanctioning of compliance with such restrictions and rules of use?
Brocker I 730
Ostrom thesis: Unlike in business theory or state theory, in a theory of the self-organisation of common goods we must assume that expenditure is the result of collective action and complex distributional tasks. See Collective Action/Ostrom, Self-Organization/Ostrom.
Brocker I 737
Problems: Ostrom shows through examples of failed common management (coastal fishing cooperatives, forest management) that at least one of her 8 building principles of self-organization does not apply. (4) (See Self-Organization/Ostrom).
Core elements of an analysis of collective actions are for Ostrom: institutional analysis, multi-level consideration and rational election actions.
OstromVsTradition: the common problem can also be self-organized and solved sustainably. It does not necessarily require the division and entrepreneurial use of the common good through the individual allocation of private property rights or state paternalism or regulation.
VsOstrom: she was criticised for her broad use of the term and for the fact that its methodological individualistic approach largely ignores the effect of structural elements such as social power relations.
OstromVsVs: Ostrom showed that its research results could be made fruitful across disciplines, e.g. in resource economics, experimental economics and behavioral research.


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. 18
2. Ibid. p. 8
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid. chap 5.


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


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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 2019-08-17
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