GEO 9 (II)

Editor's note:  Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel prize in Economics for her work on "common pool resources," was born on August 7, 1933.  In order to mark the occassion, and to celebrate the life and accomplishments of this great woman, we present four videos of Elinor explaining the fundamentals and implications of her research.  Though we lost Elinor in 2012, her work and her

Institutions & Structures: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

Contributors from the Ostrom Workshop collaborated in creating supplementary information to assist readers with some of the technical language, basic tools, and key concepts they work with. They include the following four sections:

SuperCooperators: Altruism, evolution, and why we need each other to succeed.  Martin Nowak and Roger Highfield. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd., 2011

Book Review by David Sloan Wilson



The Neighborhood Project: Using evolution to improve my city, one block at a time.  David Sloan Wilson. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2011.

Book Review by Michael Johnson



By Margaret Lund

A Report With Speculations from the Front Lines of Collective Action[1]

By Michael Johnson

By Monique Coombs

By Sobhi Mohanty

By Forrest Fleischman

In this essay I will draw on the work I have done as one of Elinor Ostrom's graduate students to illustrate some of the areas in which Ostrom's work can support the practice of grassroots economic organizing. In so doing, I hope to challenge some notions that seem to be widely held among people interested in solidarity economics, and also to point to areas where grassroots economic organizers can contribute to the improvement of theories of collective action and local governance that Ostrom pioneered.

By Daniel A. DeCaro

By Ryan T. Conway

Editor's Letter, by Seth Frey

Is real life too complicated for reductionist, scientific conceptions of society? Cooperatives, neighborhood buying clubs, grassroots producer cooperatives, housing co-ops, intentional communities, and other faces of solidarity economy exist outside the economic mainstream. So how long will it be before scientists have anything useful to say to the actual organizers of alternative economic and governance structures?

By Len Krimerman, GEO Newsletter

Seth Frey concludes his article by saying that "It has been an honor to be one small strut in this small bridge between the science and practice of community." I imagine and hope that he speaks for all his fellow contributors, as they have, in every case, broken important ground. Many small struts have emerged, and the bridge-building to join practitioners and researchers of cooperation has begun in earnest.

By Elinor Ostrom


Overview of the Issue

Most of GEO's readers are practitioners of economic collective action. They may be wondering why GEO is dedicating an entire issue not only to the practice of, but the theory and research of collective action as well.

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