Finding the answers to today’s environmental problems

Elinor Ostrom is a scientist who has devoted her life to the study of collective action problems. She has studied everything from allocation of public administration resources in urban areas to ideas about how to save lobster fishing in oceans across the globe.

As one of the world’s most famous political scientists – she holds the Arthur F. Bentley chair as a professor at Indiana University – she has been able to influence policymakers in numerous countries. Her career also includes elected positions like her years as the chairman of APSA , the American Political Science Association.

The surname seems almost all too Swedish for someone living in America. It is not without a reason. Her husband Vincent, himself an esteemed scholar, comes from a line of Swedish emigrants. Elinor, however, has been able to get well-acquainted with Scandinavia in her own right; she often visits Sweden to attend seminars and...

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