10/05/17 Tocqueville Lecture - Peter Levine: “Elinor Ostrom and the Citizen’s Basic Question: What Should We Do?”
Instead of asking “What is going on and why?” or “What should be done?” (the most typical questions in the social sciences), a citizen must ask “What should we do?” Groups of citizens who pose that question together face a list of recurrent challenges. The great Indiana University scholar Elinor Ostrom (1933–2012) exemplified a way of addressing an important subset of those challenges. When combined with two other traditions of thought, her “Bloomington School” of political economy provides a foundation for Civic Studies, an emerging interdisciplinary effort to understand society from the perspective of groups of citizens. This talk will interpret her achievement in those terms.