Vincent Ostrom passed away on Friday, June 29th. He was a foundational figure in the history of modern political economy. His work reflected a variety of influences, but those of ordo-liberalism stood out significantly. As I wrote in a blurb on the back cover of The Quest to Understand Human Affairs: "His project is a radical one exploring the foundation of self-governance, and the self-governing capacity of the citizenry. Nobody has done more that Vincent Ostrom in understanding the burdens of the democratic way of life and the political strucutures consistent with that way of life."
I very much appreciate the post Richard Ebeling had on Vincent this weekend ---- Richard gets the strong connection between Vincent's project and the broader classical liberal one that many of us are committed to pursuing. I also highly recommend reading Richard Wagner's various articles and books where he discusses fiscal sociology, political economy and social philosophy. Wagner understands the importance of Vincent's work for economics and political economy as few others within economics today do. Note to economics graduate students: read the Ebeling tribute closely, and study Wagner's various works in public finance and political economy, and rectify that situation. And then tackle Vincent's works with your eyes open to not only the analytical importance of the concept of polycentricity, but to the deep philosophical issues associated with living democratically. We must indeed be capable of embracing the cares of thinking and the troubles of living.
I talk about the Ostroms and the Workshop in this podcast with Russ Roberts.