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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IU's Elinor Ostrom honored in France, Norway

June 21, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Elinor Ostrom, Distinguished Professor of political science at Indiana University Bloomington and co-recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, is being honored by the scientific community in France. In a tribute to her work, Ostrom will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Montpelier and deliver a keynote address at a UNESCO conference in Paris.

The conference for the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization will take place June 22-24. This will be Ostrom's first official visit to France since receiving the Nobel Prize.

Elinor Ostrom

Photo by Ric Cradick

Elinor Ostrom

Print-Quality Photo

Ostrom, the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in economic sciences, focuses her research on the governance of common property, or common pool resources, especially through collective action and self-organization. She is a founding director of the IU's Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis, a research center supported in part by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington.

The theme of collective governance is the topic for Ostrom's lecture at an international symposium hosted by CIRAD, a French research center working with developing countries on international agricultural and development issues. The symposium is organized and coordinated by more than two dozen French scientific organizations and universities. After receiving her honorary doctorate from the University of Montpelier, Ostrom is meeting separately with researchers for an advanced workshop and will conduct a master class with doctoral students.

In Paris, the homage to Ostrom continues as Ostrom chairs a conference initiated by UNESCO on sustainable social-ecological systems and delivers the opening lecture for the conference "People and Water," which marks the 250th anniversary of the Academy of Agriculture in France.

Ostrom's trip also includes a series of lectures in Ås, Norway. She will discuss "cooperating for the common good" and "coping with complexity" at the Thor Heyerdahl Summer School, established by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), and will mark the opening of the Centre for Land Tenure Studies at the UMB with a presentation on the need for cross-disciplinary research.

To commemorate Thor Hereydahl International Day on June 27, Ostrom will deliver the keynote address "A Polycentric Approach to Climate Change" at the Thor Heyerdahl Institute's annual conference. Heyerdahl is the Norwegian explorer and archaeologist known for his Kon-Tiki expeditions aboard papyrus rafts.

Ostrom concludes her trip with a two-day workshop at Norway's University of Nordland on social-ecological systems research.