ECPR Joint Sessions 2011 Professor Elinor Ostrom, a 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economics, gave the Stein Rokkan Lecture on the subject of "Protecting Institutional Diversity" at the HSG on Saturday 16 April. 18 April 2011. The lecture was given as part of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Joint Sessions which was hosted this year by HSG. The lecture is named after ECPR co-founders Stein Rokkan, a Norwegian Political Scientist and Sociologist. The Stein Rokkan Lecture is typically given by an accomplished and influential political scientist, with this year being no exception. Professor Ostrom, who holds to post of the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, was awarded the "Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences" in 2009 for her analysis of governance, in particular the commons. The commons Professor Ostrom's lecture focused on governance of the commons, which are resources that are collectively owned or shared among a community such as forests, fisheries, water resources or grazing land. Professor Ostrom reviewed several means to manage common resources including government control or private ownership, as well as discussing societies that have developed diverse institutional arrangements for managing resources. Governing commons Professor Ostrom argued that the conditions of each particular case of shared resources is so unique, due to changing social, environmental and governmental facts, that there is no singular long term prescription for governing commons. Any system needs to be flexible enough and change with the time or with the ecology. "We have to look at why some solutions work in some environments and what is the combination of economic, ecological and social that make it work," said Professor Ostrom. However, simply applying that same solution to a different though ecologically similar area may fail due to the diversity of the social or cultural facts. "We need to focus on how to rigorously study diversity and how to create robust institutions that will survive and change over long term." The ECPR The ECPR is an independent, scholarly association, which I intended to support and encourage the training, research and cross-national cooperation of thousands of academics and graduate students who specialize in political science. The ECPR Joint Sessions have taken place since 1973 annually in a different European city, and have been referred to as the 'jewel in the crown' of the ECPR and are a highlight of the world's political science calendar. Each year the Joint Session is held in a different European City. this is the second time the ECPR has met in Switzerland, the first time being in Bern in 1997.