Journal of Bioeconomics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 61–69 | Cite as

Evolution, institutions, and human well-being: perspectives from a critical social anthropology

  • Chris HannEmail author


The work of Elinor Ostrom is important for those who deplore the fact that the rise of ethnographic methods has led mainstream socio-cultural anthropologists to lose interest in evolution. This trend in anthropology is illustrated with reference to research on property, where Ostrom herself made notable contributions. However, it is argued that her mature work on the evolution of rules and her privileging of low-level institutions do not pay sufficient attention to local cultural notions and reflect the bias of a powerful Western ideology.


Frazer Hayek Institutions Neoliberalism Property Socio-cultural anthropology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Social AnthropologyHalleGermany

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