PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fennell on the Work of Elinor Ostrom

FennellLee Anne Fennell (Chicago) has posted Ostrom's Law: Property Rights in the Commons (Int'l Journal of the Commons).  Here's the abstract:

In this symposium essay, I trace some of the ways that Elinor Ostrom’s focus on situated examples has advanced interdisciplinary dialogue about property as a legal institution and as a human invention for solving practical problems. Although the richness of these contributions cannot be distilled into a single thesis, their flavor can be captured in a maxim I call Ostrom’s Law: A resource arrangement that works in practice can work in theory. I begin by highlighting the attention to detail that characterizes Ostrom’s methodology. I then examine how Ostrom’s scholarship yields insights for, and employs insights from, property theory. Next, I consider the question of scale, an important focal point of Ostrom’s work, and one that carries profound implications for law. I conclude with some observations about interdisciplinarity as it relates to research on the commons.

Steve Clowney

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