Teaching Portfolio

Current Portfolio:

Institutional Analysis and Development

Course based on Elinor Ostrom’s “Institutional Analysis and Development: Micro” and the Vincent Ostrom-Mike McGinnis “Institutional Analysis, Development, and Governance: Macro” – the two-semester sequence on Institutional Analysis that has been taught each year for more than three decades by affiliated scholars at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Bloomington. These two seminars have been divided by level of analysis, with micro-level analyses covered in one semester and macro-level analyses in the other semester.

My course combines the two. Its first part introduces the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework: the Bloomington School’s way of integrating the methodological individualist and the institutionalist perspectives into a research tool that helps us explain processes at various levels of organization, via a better understanding of how individuals approach making decisions given the contextual incentives they face. The second part explores the relationship between, on the one hand, individual and collective action and, on the other hand, macro-level political, economic and social emergent phenomena and systems (i.e. democracy, capitalism, socialism, conflict and war) as mediated by constitutional and institutional arrangements created by social actors in various cultural and historical circumstances.

Alternative Governance and Economic Systems

A survey of the diversity of governance and economic systems theorized, evolved, advocated and implemented in the last hundred years of modern history.  In addition to the analytical overview of the diversity of structures and functions associated with the institutional arrangements in case, the class also illuminates the diversity of performance criteria entailed in their assessment (liberty, efficiency, equity, resilience etc.) and the unavoidable trade-offs emerging between these criteria.  The objective is to give the students (i) a clearer comparative perspective on the nature and performance of current governance and economic arrangements; (ii) a better understanding of the historical evolution and institutional performance of the alternative arrangements advocated or coexistent with them at one point or another; and (iii) the ability to assess, using a rigorous and empirically informed analytical apparatus, the desirability and feasibility of any contemporary or future governance or economic system proposition.

The Third Sector: Interdisciplinary Introduction to the “Neither Markets Nor States” Domain

“The presence of order in the world is largely dependent upon the theories used to understand the world. We are not limited, however, to only the conceptions of order derived from the work of Smith and Hobbes. … A richer set of theoretical and policy formulations than just ‘the’ Market or ‘the’ State is required” (Elinor Ostrom).

The course overviews the main approaches to the social, economic and political phenomena associated to the non-profit, non-state-created-and-coerced institutional arrangements, including the hybrid organizations and processes that combine characteristics of what is typically labeled the  ‘public’, ‘voluntary’ and ‘private’ sectors. The course explores from the complementary perspectives of institutional economics, political science, and sociology the theoretical and methodological implications of the heterogeneity and hybridity specific to this particular domain. In addition, the course also considers the issue of the ideology of the Third Sector, seen in comparative perspective with the dominant ideologies of the State and of the Market.

Entrepreneurship in Non-Market Settings: Institutional, Political and Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has been traditionally identified and studied in the economic context of the market: a key factor shaping up and being shaped by the market process. But the better we come to understand the decision situations and the phenomena associated to entrepreneurship, the more we come to realize that they are also present and manifest outside the standard parameters of the economic arena. Entrepreneurship seems to be an important element in the structure and dynamics of political systems. The classic writers on entrepreneurship — Cantillon, Say, Schumpeter, Mises, Knight, Kirzner- are only of partial help when it comes to the analysis of entrepreneurial processes in non-market settings. Although they have extensively discussed economic entrepreneurship, they did not extend their investigations to the entrepreneurial action in non-market settings.

This course focuses on three forms of entrepreneurship that involve collective action and entail structural social change – Institutional Entrepreneurship, Political Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship – and introduces the literature dedicated to their investigation. The course looks at how the concepts, theories, and methods used in the standard entrepreneurship literature could be applied to non-market settings as well as at the new generation of theories dealing with the distinctive features of these three forms of public entrepreneurship of major significance for governance structures and processes.

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