Journal of Bioeconomics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 99–104 | Cite as

Collective action, institutional design and evolutionary “blindness”

  • Viktor J. VanbergEmail author

It not being my particular area of expertise I will not comment on the field research summarized in Elinor Ostrom’s article, nor on what is said about the IAD-framework that the Bloomington group uses as a classificatory scheme for the empirical studies on irrigation systems and other common-pool resource institutions which have been carried out by, and in connection with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Instead, the focus of my comment will be on the general theoretical issue raised by the title of Ostrom’s article: “Do Institutions for Collective Action Evolve?”

In my own research I have paid considerable attention to F. A. Hayek’s work, and Ostrom’s question immediately brings to my mind two of its central themes, namely Hayek’s emphasis on the contrast between “two kinds of order”—the “self-generating or spontaneous order” on the one hand and “organization” on the other (Hayek 1973: 2, 46)—and on “the twin conceptions of evolution and the spontaneous formation...


Collective Action Human Agent Spontaneous Order Human Intentionality Alternative Trial 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Campbell, D. T. (1974a). Evolutionary epistemology. In P. A. Schipp (Ed.), The philosophy of Karl R. Popper, La Salle (pp. 413–463). Illinois: Open Court.Google Scholar
  2. Campbell, D. T. (1974b). Unjustified variation and selective retention in scientific discovery. In F. J. Ayala & T. Dobzhansky (Eds.), Studies in the philosophy of biology (pp. 139–161). London: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  3. Hayek, F. A. (1967). The theory of complex phenomena, studies in philosophy, politics and economics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Hayek, F. A. (1973). Rules and order (law, legislation and liberty) (Vol. 1). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  5. Popper, K. R. (1972). Objective knowledge. An evolutionary approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Vanberg, V. J. (2013). Darwinian paradigm, cultural evolution and human purposes: On F. A. Hayek’s evolutionary view of the market. Journal of Evolutionary Economics. doi: 10.1007/s00191-013-0305-9.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Walter Eucken InstitutFreiburgGermany

Personalised recommendations