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Upcoming talks: #IASC2015 on polycentricity and socio-ecological systems

Thrilled to announce that I’ll be at the 2015 International Association for the Study of the Commons meeting organized by Dr. Brenda Parlee and a great team of collaborators at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Canada). I organized a panel and I’m participating in another. The panel I organized has papers by Andreas Thiel, Edella Schlager, Dustin Garrick and myself, all on polycentricity (a concept pioneered by Vincent Ostrom and then developed further by Elinor Ostrom). A paper I’m presenting on the socio-ecological systems (SES) framework and how it applies to water governance is part of another panel.

You can find abstracts for my two papers below and the panel I organized here:

Polycentricity in commons governance: Theories, case studies and future challenges
Organizer: Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD.
Institution: Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE)
Contact: raul(.)pacheco(-)vega(@)cide(.)edu

Polycentricity as a conceptual and analytical framework has recently gained much popularity, in particular because of its potential for robust commons governance. While Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom had already pioneered work on polycentric commons governance, recently it has had many applications to climate change, forestry and water resource management, amongst many other topics. This panel will examine the challenges of using polycentricity in commons governance as a theoretical and empirical strategy. Papers in the panel will explore case studies of polycentric commons governance, discuss theoretical advances in polycentricity theory and formulate specific challenges facing the literature on polycentricity.

My paper:
Evaluating polycentricity in water governance? Towards a life cycle measuring framework
Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega
Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

Despite being a concept coined by Vincent Ostrom in the early 1960s, polycentricity has emerged in the last decade pretty much like another panacea, overarching paradigm (much like integrated water resources management has been for the past 30 years). Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom’s work has nonetheless helped advance our understanding of polycentric systems for resource governance, yet a gap still remains: is polycentricity a concept that can be measured? Should it be measured and can we reach a consensus on which dimensions should be used for this measurement? In this paper, I combine the literature on polycentricity with the issue area of water governance and build a qualitative and quantitative framework through which I then examine sub-national, comparative case studies of water governance in Mexico. I argue that the life cycle framework presented in this paper needs to be tested with other cases across nations to refine whether the dimensions of polycentricity offered in this paper actually increase our analytical power to better understand commons governance.

Thank you to the organizers of IASC 2015, I look forward to participating!

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