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Institutional Capacity And The Resolution Of A Commons Dilemma

Listed author(s):
  • William Blomquist
  • Elinor Ostrom
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This article concerns the dynamic process of resolving a commons dilemma without an externally imposed solution. We focus on two approaches: a model by Lewis and Cowens (1983) that yields a cooperative private arranghent that incorporates voluntarily chosen public institutions as instruments facilitating a resolution of the commons dilemma. The conditions necessary to Lewis and Cowen's result-a Itresolution without institutions-are contrasted with Ilinstitutional capacity" conditions treated as variables that may take on values enhancing the possibility of resolution. This latter approach yields certain advantages: less extreme assumptions, greater descriptive relevance, and the possibility of a variety of actual resolutions. A description of the case of West Basin in Southern California offers an example of the interaction of institutional capacity with participants' actions to produce a successful resolution of a commons dilemma. Copyright 1985 by The Policy Studies Organization.

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Article provided by Policy Studies Organization in its journal Review of Policy Research.

Volume (Year): 5 (1985)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 383-394

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revpol:v:5:y:1985:i:2:p:383-394
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