A systematic approach to institutional analysis: Applying Crawford and Ostrom's grammar

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In 1995, Crawford and Ostrom proposed a grammatical syntax for examining institutional statements (i.e., rules, norms, and strategies) as part of the institutional analysis and development framework. This article constitutes the first attempt at applying the grammatical syntax to code institutional statements using two pieces of U.S. legislation. The authors illustrate how the grammatical syntax can serve as a basis for collecting, presenting, and analyzing data in a way that is reliable and conveys valid and substantive meaning for the researcher. The article concludes by describing some implementation challenges and ideas for future theoretical and field research. © 2010 University of Utah.






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Basurto, X, G Kingsley, K McQueen, M Smith and CM Weible (2010). A systematic approach to institutional analysis: Applying Crawford and Ostrom's grammar. Political Research Quarterly, 63(3). pp. 523–537. 10.1177/1065912909334430 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6512.

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Xavier Basurto

Truman and Nellie Semans/Alex Brown & Sons Associate Professor

I am interested in the fundamental question of how groups (human and non-human) can find ways to self-organize, cooperate, and engage in successful collective action for the benefit of the common good. To do this I strive to understand how the institutions (formal and informal rules and norms) that govern social behavior, interplay with biophysical variables to shape social-ecological systems. What kind of institutions are better able to govern complex-adaptive systems? and how can societies (large and small) develop robust institutions that provide enough flexibility for collective learning and adaptation over the long-term?

My academic and professional training is based on a deep conviction that it is through integrating different disciplinary perspectives and methods that we will be able to find solutions to challenging dilemmas in natural resources management, conservation, and environmental policy. Trained as a marine biologist, I completed a M.S in natural resources studying small-scale fisheries in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Realizing the need to bring social science theories into my work on common-pool resources sustainability, I earned an MPA and a Ph.D. in Management (with a minor in cultural anthropology) from the University of Arizona and under the supervision of Edella Schlager. Following I spent two years working with Elinor Ostrom, 2009 co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, at the Workshop for Political Theory and Policy Analysis of Indiana University. Methodologically, I am familiar with a variety of quantitative and qualitative approaches and formally trained to conduct Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA or more recently fsQCA), that allows among other things, systematic comparisons of middle range N sample sizes and address issues of multiple-causality.

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