Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Few political theorists have read Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons or incorporated its insights into their work. At first glance, it may seem to be of interest only to social scientists, with little relevance to purely normative political theory. On the contrary, Ostrom’s work in fact shows a kind of presumptuousness in moral theory. It illustrates that theorists tend to assume rather than prove that the central unit of analysis is the modern nation-state. It further shows that theorists may be unable to design solutions to moral problems or problems of justice; they may, at best, only be able to identify such solutions when they appear.

Keywords: liberal theory, polycentric legal order, decentralization, the tragedy of the commons, common pool resources, Elinor Ostrom, political economy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.