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Please join us for the next Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity brown bag, featuring Dan Cole from the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University.
All are welcome, and light refreshments will be served.
During her long and illustrious career, Elinor Ostrom pioneered two analytical frameworks that have proven highly influential among social scientists: the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework and the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) framework. Each has proven to be a useful tool for social scientists interested in describing and diagnosing collective-action problems. But as Ostrom always insisted, both frameworks remain works in progress, requiring further elaboration and refinement.
This presentation marks a first effort to carry on Ostrom's work, improving both the IAD and the SES frameworks, in part (but not exclusively) by combining them. The SES framework, in particular, benefits from combination with the IAD framework because, alone, it is purely descriptive and diagnostic; it cannot even explain how institutional arrangements affect social and ecological conditions or how changes to those institutional arrangements alter those conditions, let alone make predictions about the consequences of institutional change.
The existing IAD framework does more work than the existing SES framework, but supplanting its biophysical and social conditions (sometimes erroneously referred to as “exogenous variables”) with more finely grained variables from the SES framework, allows for better understanding of initial conditions (that is prior to strategic interactions in operational interactions), and also allows for more nuanced analysis of how changes in collective-action rules (affecting operational interactions) in turn impact on social and ecological variables.
Beyond combining the two Ostrom frameworks, this presentation seeks to focus more attention on several previously neglected, but critical, aspects of the IAD framework, incorporating: (1) relative prices and other economic factors that have been left out of past iterations of both SES and IAD frameworks; (2) “non-strategic impediments” to collective action; (3) greater specification of different types of interactions (at both collective-action and operational levels); (4) a more detailed explication of the structure and role of evaluative processes, which basically were a black box in earlier versions of the IAD framework; (5) a distinction between the “outputs” (e.g., rules, entitlement allocations, etc.) and the “outcomes” (e.g., payoffs, external effects, etc.) of interactions (which is our new term for “action arenas” or “action situations”); (6) a distinction between outcomes that are evaluated from others that directly (that is, without mediation through evaluation) affect ecological or social systems.
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