Many years ago, I met Vincent and Elinor Ostrom in the seminar room of what is now the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University in Bloomington. I then had several personal interactions with Lin Ostrom, and I’ve been back a few times to Bloomington. (I even wrote a poem about a B&B there once.) I have taught and studied her work and am writing a book in which the tradition that she and Vincent founded–the Bloomington School–is one of three essential components of a theory of citizenship. (The other two are the post-War Frankfurt School and the tradition of political nonviolence: Gandhi/King.) She is, for me, the model scholar.
Today, I was able to speak about Lin Ostrom’s legacy in that same seminar room. I tried to place the Bloomington School in the context of major currents of political theory and civic renewal. A video of my talk is already up on the Workshop’s website. The title is “Elinor Ostrom and the Citizen’s Basic Question: What Should We Do?”