Eduardo Santiago's Reviews > Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action

Governing the Commons by Elinor Ostrom
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's review
Aug 21, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012 — I own a copy

The good news is, there's hope: the Tragedy of the Commons is not inevitable. Ostrom identifies factors necessary for productive and long-term use of these resources, illuminating real-world case studies and offering hope for those who sincerely want to make things work. It can happen.

This isn't a political work: Ostrom sneers at both libertarians (“The private sector will fix it!”) and statists (“the government will fix it!”) while recognizing that the real world requires good doses of both philosophies. You know, reality. Science. Not what you wish would be; what is.

Surprisingly readable. Not for everyone, but if you enjoyed de Soto's The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else and if you find yourself needing to know how we can get ourselves out of certain tragic messes, this one might be for you.
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