Elinor Ostrom Lecture

Convening Cultural Commons
Conference of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy
NYU School of Law
Friday, September 23, 2011
Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Square South

Public Keynote Lecture by Elinor Ostrom
2009 Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, Indiana University

Professor Ostrom’s lecture is the keynote address of the Convening Cultural Commons Conference, sponsored by the Engelberg Center for Innovation Law & Policy.  The lecture is  free and open to the public. The conference is by invitation only.

Title: The Role of Culture in Solving Social Dilemmas

Abstract: Many proposals for solving social dilemmas revolve around imposing solutions from external authorities to those involved.  Some of these are related to having a government decide what people should do.  The government then watches them and punishes them if they do not do what the government orders.  Others relate to paying people to do things that they are not doing through their own understanding in cultural traditions.  We have made rich studies of the wide diversity of rules that people have used in the field based on their cultural understandings of the problems they face and what is considered to be appropriate behavior in that cultural and ecological setting. 

Elinor Ostrom is Distinguished Professor, Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, and Senior Research Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009, Reimar Lüst Award for International Scholarly and Cultural Exchange, the Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar Award, the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy, the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science. Her books include Governing the Commons (1990); Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources (1994, with Roy Gardner and James Walker); Local Commons and Global Interdependence: Heterogeneity and Cooperation in Two Domains (1995, with Robert Keohane); Trust and Reciprocity: Interdisciplinary Lessons from Experimental Research (2003, with James Walker); The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptations (2003, with Nives Dolšak); The Samaritan’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid (2005, with Clark Gibson, Krister Andersson, and Sujai Shivakumar); Understanding Institutional Diversity (2005); Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice (2007, with Charlotte Hess); and Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice (2010, with Amy Poteete and Marco Janssen).