The word polycentricity has been around for more than a half-century, but The Polycentricity Network is relatively new. For the first time in 2014 a small group of scholars who participated in the 5th “Workshop on the Workshop” at Indiana University-Bloomington, USA met to discuss their shared interests in polycentric governance. Among other topics, they considered how to develop a collaborative international and interdisciplinary program of research on polycentric governance and the possibility of a book about it.
The group grew and continued its planning and discussions during 2015. A roundtable on polycentricity at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in April was followed by panels at the biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in May and the biennial conference of the International Public Policy Association in Milan, Italy in July. By summer 2015 the group included ecologists, geographers, legal scholars, political scientists, and sociologists.
When the group met in Edmonton in May 2015, those present agreed that they should establish an ongoing network with an online presence to foster and maintain their collaboration and to welcome participation by more scholars around the world. They also planned for the development of at least one book and one special issue of an academic journal. Most of those who were interested in the book and journal projects reconvened in December 2015 for planning sessions at Indiana University’s Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
That group reiterated the desire to create and maintain an online presence, so people worldwide could contribute and share their ideas, research, and experiences in polycentric governance. A facebook page was launched and the potential domain names for a website were registered. Website design and development took place in 2016 and early 2017.
The Polycentricity Network is an open, worldwide collaboration and association among people interested in polycentricity. Those interests may be in developing the theory and analysis of polycentric arrangements, in the practical experience and performance of polycentric systems, or both. Their professional and disciplinary backgrounds are varied. The website is intended to serve both as a resource where interested persons can find and share information, and a forum for conversation about ideas and practice.