Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons, Hudson, Rosenbloom, Cole (eds.) (Routledge, Forthcoming)

17 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2018

Date Written: February 20, 2018


This chapter sets out the cyclical theoretical and empirical development of the concept of polycentricity. It starts with a discussion of Vincent Ostrom’s work on polycentricity (Section I); followed by a discussion of some of the case studies undertaken to test polycentric systems. The results of these empirical studies also informed Lin’s work on the governance of environmental commons and citizenship, and the eventual identification of design principles of successful common-pool resource management systems (Section II). The third section moves away from existing work in search of an analytical framework that will allow for a more nuanced identification of species of polycentric systems. This in turn will help to detect those polycentric features that need to be strengthened in order for the system to thrive (Section III). The final section demonstrates how such an analytical framework may be applied to the European Union (Section IV).

Keywords: polycentricity, Ostrom, commons, self-governance, public goods

JEL Classification: H4, H7, K10

Suggested Citation

van Zeben, Josephine A. W., Polycentricity (February 20, 2018). Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons, Hudson, Rosenbloom, Cole (eds.) (Routledge, Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3126699

Josephine A. W. Van Zeben (Contact Author)

Wageningen University and Research ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN

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