I began my doctoral work at Indiana University researching and working at the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. All of my work owes its origins to here. The experiences there opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and attempting to understand the world. Like many Workshoppers, my training is grounded in institutional analysis and begins with case studies. From here, we were taught to expand methodologically as needed to answer the questions at hand. In my case that has included social network analysis, agent-based modeling, geospatial analysis, among others.
My time in Bloomington also served to develop relations with many other in the field, ultimately leading to my editorship, with Frank van Laerhoven, of the International Journal of the Commons (see link below).
If you have an interest in the commons or in institutional analysis, this is the place to start:
If you’re interested in publishing in the field or learning more, please check out the International Journal of the Commons!!
For membership in the Commons professional society, the International Association for the Study of the Commons, and access to The Commons Digest, go to IASC.
My Published Research in this Field
My main publication in this field is my dissertation, which won the American Political Science Association’s award for Best Dissertation in Public Policy:
York, Abigail and Michael Schoon. 2011. “Collective Action on the Western Range: Coping with External and Internal Threats”, International Journal of the Commons 5 (2): 388-409. http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/article/view/286/228
Schoon, Michael L. 2011. “Commons Complexity and Understanding Transboundary Conservation Areas”. The Commons Digest Issue 10 edited by Alyne Delaney.
Cox, James, Elinor Ostrom, James Walker, Jamie Castillo, Eric Coleman, Robert Holahan, Michael Schoon, and Brian Steed. 2009. “Trust in Private and Common Property Experiments”, Southern Economics Journal 75 (4): 957-975.
Current Research Program
I currently have two projects that I hope to send out in the coming year.
The first is a solo piece, originally written for the Workshop on the Workshop conference of 2009. It’s a piece on the complex nature of protected areas, specifically transboundary protected areas, and the goods and services that they provide. The draft is entitled, “Types of Goods and the Scale of Effects in Transboundary Protected Areas”, for submission to the International Journal of the Commons.
A shorter version of this piece was published in The Commons Digest, Issue 10, as noted above, with a link on my publications page.
I am also working on a much larger project with Michael Cox, Sergio Villamayor, Elinor Ostrom, and several other colleagues from the Resilience Alliance Young Scholars group. This project examines the number of factors seen to contribute to long-enduring institutional arrangements in the governance of (generally) small-scale common-pool resources. We are conducting a meta-analysis that examines how these variables translate to the international scale. This project began with an examination of scaling up small-scale CPR work to larger-scale systems. It has since grown to take a life of its own. Currently, we have 14 scholars coding cases to populate a database. Plans for several publications are currently in the works with submission for a special issue in Fall, 2012 under way.
This project has also blossomed into a collaboration with a number of international regimes scholars interested in examining cross-scale governance of natural resources. Stay tuned as this project picks up momentum.