Design principles for global commons: Natural resources and emerging technologies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of the Commons. 2011, 5 (2), 213-232. 10.18352/ijc.305
Ostrom's design principles for managing common pool resources were developed largely by examining local commons involving natural resources. This paper enumerates several key characteristics that distinguish such commons from more complex commons involving global resources and the risks of emerging technologies. It considers the degree to which the design principles transfer to those commons and concludes that although they have considerable external validity, the list needs some modification and elaboration to apply to global resources and risk commons. A list of design principles is offered for global resource commons and the risks of emerging technologies. Applying Ostrom's approach to global resources and emerging technologies can improve understanding and expand the solution set for these problems from international treaties, top-down national regulation, and interventions in market pricing systems to include nongovernmental institutions that embody principles of self-governance.