Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons

Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2009 for her work on commons. Her work has had a significant impact on policy scientists and economists, through showing that common property can be successfully managed over long time periods by organisations of users, without central authority control, or privatization.

The Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons Council sends out a Call to nominate outstanding scholars or practitioners in the fields of natural resource management, commons, common-pool resources or collective action.

The overall objectives of the Award are:

  • To acknowledge Elinor Ostrom’s legacy in developing commons knowledge and theory while making it accessible to wider and more varied audiences, both within and outside the realm of international academia.
  • To promote Ostrom’s commitment to the training of students, young colleagues and practitioners.
  • To promote research on the commons, collective action and governance of commons, as well as its application to the governance and sustainability of socio-ecological, cultural and knowledge commons of different types and scales.
  • To acknowledge and increase the visibility of applied policy and civic experiences of governance, management, protection, and/or creation of different types of commons in different regions of the world, particularly those related to contemporary socio-environmental and social exclusion challenges.

The Award is given in three categories:

1. Practitioners

recognizing the work around the creation, defense, sustainable management and use of common resources by groups, communities, and NGO or federations of communities.

2. Junior scholars

involved in commons studies, or focused on community-level management or policy and governance, associated with either research, teaching, advising commoners, or a mix of these activities.

3. Senior scholars

involved in commons studies and work with commons, communities and pro-commons policies. This category of the Award also aims to acknowledge commitment to, and impact on, training and/or advising new generations of commons scholars and/or practitioners.

In the three different categories, applicants for the award may be either individuals or groups. There will be one Ostrom Award made within each category. In extraordinary cases, a joint award to more than one person or group for a particular category may be made.

The call for nominations for the 2019 cycle is now Closed. More information on the Institutional Supporters, the evaluation criteria, the application and selection process, and the Award itself, may be found on the website.

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