Context and Background of Ostrom Retreat

Elinor Ostrom received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her research proving how the commons are vital to the world based on the rhetoric of the “tragedy of the commons”, which focused on private property and centralization as ways to protect finite resources from depletion. She turned over the “conventional wisdom” by validating by what means local resources could be effectively managed by commons without ruling by central government or privatization. Ostrom identified 8 design principles for how common-pool resources could be governed sustainably and equitably in a community. Similarly, the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework summarizes the ways that institutions function and adjust over time. The framework observes institutions to be created by humans whereby individual choices made render consequences of particular choices made. This is one of a “multi-level conceptual map” that may offer to study a specific hierarchical section of interactions made in a system. The part of the framework includes action arena identification, formed through interactions between actors and actor situations. 

As a political scientist, Ostrom has been a source of inspiration for many researchers and social scientists, including the faculty at the School of Environment, Resources and Development of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand. Colleagues at the Ostrom Center for Advanced Study in Natural Resources Governance (OCeAN) within and beyond AIT have recently published four volumes with chapters based on Ostrom’s theories and approaches. She changed the method of inquiry among economists that earlier ignited with a hypothesis and then put on to statistical tests; she initiated with a concrete reality as a replacement for. Following in her footsteps, OCeAN has published four book series from Elsevier which are based on ground information that is then analyzed rather than formulating an assumption of reality. The speculative issues linked to the management of environment and natural resources are presented in the series to bring about understanding of the mechanisms in managing natural resource base in the regions and how different stakeholders interact with each other in managing the natural resources.  The detail of the book series is as follows:

Series Title: “Redefining Diversity and Dynamism of Natural Resource Management in Asia”

Series Editors: Ganesh Shivakoti, Shubhechchha Sharma and Raza Ullah

Volume No. Title of Book Editors

Volume 1

Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Dynamic Asia

Ganesh Shivakoti, Ujjwal Pradhan and Helmi

Volume 2

Upland Natural Resources and Social Ecological Systems in Northern Vietnam

Mai Van Thanh, Tran DucVien,Stephen J. Leisz and Ganesh P. Shivakoti

Volume 3

Natural Resource Dynamics and Social Ecological Systems in Central Vietnam: Development, Resource Changes and Conservation Issues

Tran Nam Thang, Ngo Tri Dung, David Hulse, Shubhechchha Sharma and Ganesh Shivakoti

Volume 4

Reciprocal Relationships between Governance of Natural Resources and Social Ecological Systems’ Dynamics in West Sumatra, Indonesia

Rudi Febriamansyah, Yonariza, Raza Ullah and Ganesh P. Shivakoti

OCeAN then organized IASC Asia Region meeting during July 2018 and the selected presentations are being reviewed for two more volumes and special issue of International Journal of the Commons :

  • Publication of two more volumes on Redefining Diversity and Dynamism of Natural Resource Management in South Asia (volume 5) : Raza Ullah, Sobia Asgher and Ganesh Shivakoti (editors) and South East and East Asia (volume 6) : Shubhechchha Sharma, Inoue Makoto and Ganesh Shivakoti (editors) with Elsevier Publications; 2020 and
  • Publication of special issue of International Journal of the Commons: Agricultural and natural resources adaptations to climate change: Governance challenges in Asia. Ganesh Shivakoti, Marco Janssen and Netra Chhetri Guest editors. 2020.