Polycentricity – 1972 Working paper by Vincent Ostrom

Polycentricity – 1972 Working paper by Vincent Ostrom

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Vincent Ostrom

Vincent Ostrom’s 1972 working paper on “Polycentricity” is available in the Digital Library of the Commons, along with many other relevant papers: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/3763

“Application of the concept of polycentricity to the organization of government in metropolitan areas is examined. A polycentric order is defined as one where many elements are capable of making mutual adjustments for ordering relationships with one another within a general system of rules where each element acts with independence of other elements. Spontaneity, in the sense that individuals will be led to organize elements in a polycentric order, initiate self-enforcing arrangements and alter basic rules, is explored as an attribute of a polycentric order. Reliance upon polycentricity in the organization of various decision-making arenas is examined in relation to markets, judicial decision making, constitutional rule, selection of political leadership and formation of political coalitions and in the operation of a public service economy. …”