Ostrom’s scholarship over the past three decades has demonstrated that self-organized communities of “commoners” are quite capable of managing finite natural resources without destroying them.
Ostrom identifies eight "design principles" of stable local common pool resource management:
- Clearly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external unentitled parties);
- Rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources are adapted to local conditions;
- Collective-choice arrangements allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process;
- Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators;
- There is a scale of graduated sanctions for resource appropriators who violate community rules;
- Mechanisms of conflict resolution are cheap and easy of access;
- The self-determination of the community is recognized by higher-level authorities;
- In the case of larger common-pool resources: organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small local CPRs at the base level.
- ↑ Ostrom, Elinor (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-40599-8.