Cox et al 2010 review ostroms design principles

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Cox, M., G. Arnold, and S. Villamayor Tomás. 2010. A review of design principles for community-based natural resource management. Ecology and Society 15(4): 38. [online] URL:


  • Provides a literature review of projects that make observations compared to Ostrom's design principles for community-based common pool resources management.
  • The summarize evidence supporting or refuting the principles, and summarize critiques of the principles, which include but are not limited to:
    • principles point at structural attributes, but do not expose processes like trust, legitimacy, and transparency.
    • generalization outside of a cultural context may lead to principles presented as a panacea to complex cultural challenges.
    • discounting powerful local or contextual ecological or economic factors that overpower any controls created by application of the principles.
    • that principles are commonly extended to situations outside the kinds of systems used to identify the principles.