Political Science IUB

Legal Design Principles for State-Reinforced Self-Governance

Self-governance is a fundamental aspect of democracy, and an essential foundation of societal cooperation and problem-solving in the United States. Vincent and Elinor Ostrom's seminal research identified important pitfalls and opportunities for self-governance within complex societies (V. Ostrom 1971, 1994) and pinpointed key factors ("design principles") associated with robust self-governance, specifically in semi-autonomous communities (E. Ostrom 1990, 2010). However, the enabling conditions for broad-scale self-organization and cooperation within complex, highly regulated systems, including government agencies, modern organizations, and partnerships, are poorly understood. It is therefore difficult to engineer self-governing systems (e.g., failures of emergent democracies, collaboratives), or sustain the adaptive, democratic cooperation many societies require (Shivakumar 2005). The current research presentation builds upon Sarker's (2013) concept of state-reinforced self-governance, and theories of social-ecological resilience and adaptive governance (Chaffin 2016), to discuss preliminary legal design principles, whereby official governments may facilitate self-governance and encourage societal cooperation. Research opportunities and challenges are discussed.

Daniel DeCaro directs the Social Decision Making and Sustainability Lab at the University of Louisville and co-chairs the Sustainable Behavior Team for Louisville's trans-governmental policy collaborative, Partnership for a Green City. His research examines psychological processes involved in societal cooperation, including self-governance and decision making in social dilemmas (supported by NSF Award #1658608, with Co-PI's Marco Janssen and Allen Lee). Daniel's other projects examine legal aspects of self-governance in complex adaptive water governance systems.

Wednesday September 20, 2017 12:00 PM
Wednesday September 20, 2017 01:00 PM
The Ostrom Workshop, 513 N. Park
Allison Sturgeon
Free and open to the public
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(812) 855-3151
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You are welcome to bring your lunch
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