Academic Year:

Field of Study:
Political Science

Research Program:
NEC Odobleja

National University of Political Studies and Public Administration



Research project: Long Live the Forest! The Forest Exploitation Procedures and the Power of the Institutions. The Case of the Romanian Communal Villages

The present research project is based on new-institutional analysis. As defined by Douglass North (1990), “institutions are the rules of the game in a society, or more formally, are the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction. In consequence, they structure incentives in human exchange, whether political, social or economic” (North 1990, p.3). More specifically, I will follow the approach developed by Elinor Ostrom – of institutions as „sets of working rules” (Ostrom 1990, p.51) – in pursuing an in-depth analysis of the overexploitation of forests managed by the communal villages.

The process of forest overexploitation or, more generally, of the commons was broadly discussed in the economics literature in response to Hardin’s tragedy of the commons (1968). The Ostromian IAD added a new perspective to the study of collective action dilemmas. One of the major insights of the Ostromian framework is that context matters (Aligică & Sabetti 2014, p.253). Assuming that context matters, the institutional analysis of the Romanian Communal villages does not represent another Ostromian case study, but different institutional arrangements that may be observed through Ostromian theoretical lenses.

Employing the abovementioned institutional literature, the general objective of the present research proposal is to map local-based institutions affecting non-cooperation in the exploitation of forests in Romanian Communal Villages.