Collective action, institutional design and evolutionary “blindness”
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It not being my particular area of expertise I will not comment on the field research summarized in Elinor Ostrom’s article, nor on what is said about the IAD-framework that the Bloomington group uses as a classificatory scheme for the empirical studies on irrigation systems and other common-pool resource institutions which have been carried out by, and in connection with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Instead, the focus of my comment will be on the general theoretical issue raised by the title of Ostrom’s article: “Do Institutions for Collective Action Evolve?”
In my own research I have paid considerable attention to F. A. Hayek’s work, and Ostrom’s question immediately brings to my mind two of its central themes, namely Hayek’s emphasis on the contrast between “two kinds of order”—the “self-generating or spontaneous order” on the one hand and “organization” on the other (Hayek 1973: 2, 46)—and on “the twin conceptions of evolution and the spontaneous formation...
KeywordsCollective Action Human Agent Spontaneous Order Human Intentionality Alternative Trial
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