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Global Awards in Memory of Celebrated Common Scholar, Elinor Ostrom

Three organisations and five scholars have won the first-ever international Elinor Ostrom Award for their work on commons (shared resources). The award was presented to the winners at the 14th global conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons at Kitafuji, Japan on June 5, 2013.

The late Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University, USA, won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009. She was an exceptional academic leader on commons and was mentor to thousands of students of the commons. The award, which was established by 15 institutions in her memory, is to promote the work of practitioners and scholars who are involved in the study and practice of the governance of the commons, and celebrates Ostrom’s research on the commons and collective action.

The awards to organisations in the practitioners’ section are:

  • Foundation for Ecological Security (India), for their extensive work with both communities and the government to strengthen the local management of the commons and supportive policies for equity and on sustainability.
  • The Open Spaces Society (United Kingdom), for their long stewardship of the commons and their impact on commons policy and management both in the Uk and Japan.
  • Grupo de Estudios Ambientales A.C. (Mexico), for their work to consolidate local rules into practice, particularly with ejidos and indigenous communities on forests management.

The awards to senior scholars are:

  • Ben Cousins (South Africa), for his multi-disciplinary approach to explore how property rights and collective action arenas interact in agrarian settings where community management of land is crucial
  • Harini Nagendra (India), for her innovative use of different methodological approaches, as well as for her active participation as a practitioner on the commons.
  • Charles Schweik (USA), for his innovative use of the Institutional Analysis and Development framework to the topic of knowledge commons.

The awards to junior scholars are:

  • Eduardo Araral (Singapore), for his systematic analysis of governance institutions, especially irrigation systems, and his collaboration with the policy arena.
  • Michael Cox (USA), for his revision of the Ostrom design principles, and his leadership in developing a meta-analysis of large scale common-pool resources.

Leticia Merino, President of the International Association for the Study of the Commons and close friend of Elinor Ostrom, says: ‘We congratulate the award winners who together represent Ostrom’s rich legacy of putting commons theory into practice, and promoting collective action to sustain communities and their environment.’

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