Covenants with and without a Sword: Self-Governance Is Possible

  title={Covenants with and without a Sword: Self-Governance Is Possible},
  author={E. Ostrom and James M. Walker and Roy Gardner},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
Contemporary political theory often assumes that individuals cannot make credible commitments where substantial temptations exist to break them unless such commitments are enforced by an external agent. One such situation may occur in relation to common pool resources, which are natural or man-made resources whose yield is subtractable and whose exclusion is nontrivial (but not necessarily impossible). Examples include fisheries, forests, grazing ranges, irrigation systems, and groundwater… 
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