Dinsdag quote

Many policy prescriptions are themselves no more than metaphors. Both the centralizers and the privatizers frequently advocate over-simplified, idealized institutions – paradoxically, almost ‘institution-free’ institutions. An assertion that regulation is necessary tells us nothing about the way a central authority should be constituted, what authority it should have, how the limits on its authority should be maintained, how it will obtain information, or how its agents will be selected, motivated to do their work, and have their performances monitored and rewarded or sanctioned. An assertion that private property rights are necessary tells us nothing about how that bundle of rights is to be defined, how the various attributes of the goods involved will be measured, who will pay the costs of excluding non-owners from access, how conflicts over rights will be adjudicated…

Elinor Ostrom (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, p 22

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