Implications of Institutionalism for Democracy

  • Martha E. Kropf
Part of the Elections, Voting, Technology book series (EVT)


The various works of Elinor Ostrom have many complexities, but the fundamentals of the framework and theory are not difficult to comprehend. A key part? Knowing the rules of the game makes a big difference. Scholars Larry Kiser and Ostrom write (2000):

Individuals cannot play a game without coming to a common understanding of the rules. Players must share a similar view of the range of allowable actions or the distribution of rights and duties among players, of likely consequences, and of preferences among players for alternative outcomes. Common understanding, however, does not imply equal distribution of information among community members. Some common knowledge of the institutional constraints is necessary for interdependent decision making, but participants may vary in their level of knowledge. Incentives therefore, may differ among individuals (even individuals with similar preferences) choosing within similar decision situations.

(page 73)


Institutional Theory Voter Turnout Informal Rule Electoral Institution Racial Resentment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Tokaji, Daniel P. 2006. “The New Vote Denial: Where Election Reform Meets the New Voting Rights Act.” South Carolina Law Review 57(4): 689–733.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Dardis, Frank E., Frank R. Baumgartner, Amber E. Boydstun, Suzanna De Boef and Fuyuan Shen. 2008. “Media Framing of Capital Punishment and Its Impact on Individuals’ Cognitive Responses.” Mass Communication & Society 11: 115–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 5.
    See for example, Wilson, David R. and Paul R. Brewer. 2013. “The Foundations of Public Opinion on Voter ID Laws: Political Predispositions, Racial Resentment and Information Effects.” Public Opinion Quarterly 77(4): 962–984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 7.
    Turner, Edward Raymond. 1916. “Women’s Suffrage in New Jersey: 1790–1807.” Smith College Studies in History 1(4): 165–187.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Other studies recently have provided additional support for the Bentele and O’Brien study. See for example: Hicks, William D., Seth C. McKee, Mitchell D. Sellers, and Daniel A. Smith. 2015. “A Principle or a Strategy? Voter Identification Laws and Partisan Competition in the American States.” Political Research Quarterly 68(1): 18–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha E. Kropf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

Personalised recommendations