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


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.

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Correspondence to Chris Hann.

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Hann, C. Evolution, institutions, and human well-being: perspectives from a critical social anthropology. J Bioecon 16, 61–69 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10818-013-9168-2

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  • Frazer
  • Hayek
  • Institutions
  • Neoliberalism
  • Property
  • Socio-cultural anthropology