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Which clippings match 'Opportunism' keyword pg.1 of 1
22 SEPTEMBER 2016

Elinor Ostrom and the solution to the tragedy of the commons

Elinor Ostrom's "research concerned the governance of common resources (also known as commons). The commons are natural resources, like land for grazing, fishing areas, forests for timber, water for the irrigation of farmland, and also more intangible resources, like knowledge, for which it is very expensive to control and fence in 'user' consumption. The problem with these types of resources, as shown in 1968 by Garrett Hardin (but Aristotle had already observed a similar phenomenon) is that they are over-exploited, or at least their care and sustainability is overlooked by users. The reason is that people behave opportunistically (like free-riders) and consider the resource they are accessing, without the possibility of being excluded, as a free resource, and they therefore maximize their private benefits but neglect, or collectivize, the costs.

Hardin coined the phrase 'tragedy of the commons' to describe this phenomenon and gave social sciences one of the most evocative metaphors after Adam Smith’s 'invisible hand'. These two metaphors are effective because they capture two essential social situations in marked contrast to one another. When social interactions are guided by an invisible hand, they reconcile individual choice and socially desirable results, whereas in the tragedy of the commons, individuals pursuing their private objectives cause disastrous consequences for themselves and others. The solution to the tragedy of the commons, before the contribution of Ostrom and her studies, was to privatize resources or, in a diametrically opposite view, to form a Leviathan state in order to manage them.

Instead, Ostrom demonstrated that, within communities, rules and institutions of non-market and not resulting from public planning can emerge from the bottom up to ensure a sustainable, shared management of resources, as well as one that is efficient from an economical point of view. Besides the village of Törbel, Ostrom shows examples of common lands in the Japanese villages of Hirano and Nagaike, the huerta irrigation mechanism between Valencia, Murcia and Alicante in Spain, and the zanjera irrigation community in the Philippines. Also, the property in the form of 'vicinale', neighborhoods, typical of regions of Italy like Emilia, the Belluno and the Ticino, are also collective institutions, although not investigated by Ostrom. The argument then has a more modern example if one notices that even the 'Wikipedia community' is a form of successful collective institution of a communal resource (knowledge)."

(Flavio Felice, Massimiliano Vatiero, 27 June 2012)

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TAGS

Adam Smith • American political economist • assets • Belluno • bottom-up organisation • collective institutions • collective interests • common pool resources (CPR) • common propertycommons • communal resource • economic governance • economic science • Elinor Ostrom • Emilia • English Industrial Revolution • exploitationfencing • Flavio Felice • Garrett Hardin • governance of common resources • Hirano • huerta irrigation mechanism • individual choice • invisible hand • Karl Polanyi • land management • Massimiliano Vatiero • Nagaike • natural resourcesopportunism • over-exploitation • political economics • political economist • political economyprivate control • privatisation • privatisation of land • public government • public planning • resource managementsocial interactionssocial situation • socially desirable results • sustainabilitysustainability thinking • Ticino • Torbel • tragedy of the commons • vicinale • Wikipedia • Wikipedia community • zanjera irrigation community

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 JULY 2011

The pop-up shop phenomenon

"Pop–ups are the epitome of our high–speed, short–attention–span culture. They are restaurants, bars, clubs and shops that spring up in unexpected locations, cause a storm, and disappear just before the fashion crowd moves on to the next big thing. Comme des Garçons started the trend in 2004 with its guerrilla stores. Now London is totally pop–up–tastic. Following the success of the Reindeer restaurant, the Bistrotheque boys have now decamped (actually and aesthetically) from Bethnal Green to Burlington Gardens. Flash, their grown–up restaurant in the Royal Academy, will be over in just that. Tyler Brûlé has turned shopgirl in his design–led roving microstore for Monocle magazine. Blink and you'd have missed Mary Portas's hyper–pop–up: open for just one hour to sell vintage clothes in Bishopsgate earlier this month. Then there's the Foundry, flogging quirky homewares in different spaces around the capital; Atelier Moët on Bond Street, where you can customise champagne bottles (although its last day is today); and the Proud Gallery, which started off as merely a marquee over a car park.

It's a perfect concept for our hype–heavy society. Nowhere can be the hottest place to be seen in for more than six months, so by pulling it down and starting again, businesses can be constantly reinvented. Because they are temporary, pop–ups can take risks. They don't need as much polish, so they don't need as much investment – perfect for recessionistas."

(Damian Barr, 28 December 2008, Times Online)

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TAGS

2004 • Atelier Moet • bars • Bethnal Green • Bishopsgate • Bistrotheque boys • Bond Street • Burlington Gardens • clubs • constantly reinvented • consumerismeconomic recessionentrepreneurship • fashion crowd • flash retailing • global financial crisis • guerrilla stores • high-speed • hype-heavy society • hyper-pop-up • locationLondon • marquee • Mary Portas • Monocle magazine • next big thing • opportunismphenomenon • place to be seen • pop-uppop-up retailpop-up shop • pop-up store • pop-up-tastic • pop-ups • Proud Gallery • recessionistas • Reindeer restaurant • reinvent • restaurants • retailrisk-taking • Royal Academy • shop • shopgirl • short-attention-span culture • spaces • spring up • temporary • the Foundry • Tyler Brule • unexpected • vintage clothes

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 OCTOBER 2009

Modernista! letting others define its identity

"We are what the digital media universe says we are. Why fight it? Which brings us to Modernista!'s new Web site, which isn't a site in the classic sense, but a search–engine redirect–you Google them, and the top link takes you back to Google, but with a small red navigation bar in the corner. The bar leads to shop–related articles and information from Wikipedia, Facebook, Google News and Flickr, among other sites."

(David Gianatasio , March 2008, AdFreak)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 JANUARY 2009

Scoopt: cashing in on cameraphone journalism

"Scoopt is a media agency that has been created specifically to help members of the public sell photographs and videos of newsworthy events to the media. We bridge the gap between amateur photographer – and by 'amateur', we mean anybody with a digital camera or a cameraphone who just happens to be in the right place at the right time – and picture desks. Scoopt is now owned and operated by Getty Images, which means that Scoopt members have direct access to worldwide media markets."
(Scoopt FAQ)

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TAGS

agencyamateuramateur photographerauthorshipbrokeragecameraphonecitizen journalismdigital cameradigital mediaenterpriseeyewitnessGetty Images • news photography • newspaper photography • opportunismrepository • Scoopt • traditionUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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