1.1 Introduction to this section

This section is concerned with broad approaches to conceptualising and researching institutions. It unpacks an approach to innovation, termed “Mode 2” in which new forms of knowledge production occur in more detail, while the reading demonstrates the importance of exploring contrasting approaches to a specific issue: common pool resources (such as water, fish resources, etc). These contrasting approaches are typical of distinct institutional theories and different institutional arrangements for managing such problems. These are based on: property rights approaches, governmental regulation, and self-managed frameworks. The reading by Elinor Ostrom is particularly useful for our purposes, because it provides a clear exposition of the research approach adopted.

1 The institutional perspective

1.2 Institutions and knowledge production