terça-feira, junho 26, 2012

Elinor Ostrom

No seguimento de Private Provision of Public Goods, What Elinor Ostrom Means For All Of Us:
.. I choose to focus on what Ostrom has done to help us understand how we can indeed govern ourselves, a question that oddly enough is situated within the core premise of both American and anarchist experiments. I also choose to focus on our responsibility to act upon that treasured knowledge Ostrom worked so hard to provide for us.

Ostrom remains an academic unlike many others. She transcended the debates found in most of the dogmatic Marxist, libertarian and heterodox economic circles by subverting the ideological divides, understooding that complex questions would require involved and complex answers, complex because the findings would have major social and economic implications:

- Are individuals motivated by considerations other than crude selfishness?
- Are individuals forever locked in a struggle against each other for power and control?
- Can individuals overcome substantial barriers to address critical issues such as climate change?

Ostrom (and her husband Vincent who survives Elinor and also a principal theorist in polycentric institutional orders) explored these questions by trying to understand how the “science and art of association” is utilized by real people situated in social dilemmas. The evidence of Ostrom’s work points to yes; humankind has the capacity to develop community based solutions and act concertedly to avert disasters.

But, were it not for the pioneering work of Ostrom, we may very well be stuck mired in the old debates of hegemony, public versus private, or the efficacy of expert over local, tacit knowledge. Ostrom leaves us a legacy of aspiration for the greater good of individuals, individuals with the capacity to work together for a better future, and to manage their own affairs. Because of her work, we are freed from having to apologize for challenging public policies which place authority in the hands of the few, and instead we are all now bolstered with the knowledge that “the many” have enormous capacity to control their own fate.

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