Jennifer H. Allen is an associate professor of Public Administration in the Hatfield School of Government and a Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Her areas of research include environmental and natural resource policy and sustainable economic development, with particular emphasis on integrative policy approaches, economic clusters supporting sustainable development, and rural-urban market connections. Allen has previously worked at the World Bank, Ecotrust, and the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department.

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Two decades of research into the management of what economists call common-pool resources suggests that, under the right conditions, local communities can manage shared resources sustainably and successfully. These revolutionary findings challenge the long-held belief in the “tragedy of the commons.” Instead, we have found that tragedy is not …

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