Download the call for papers

The governance of almost all complex social or natural resource systems is polycentric: it involves distributed, nested and partially overlapping patterns of competitive and cooperative relationships among relatively autonomous private and public actors, operating at different levels, within a set of overarching rules.

Yet our understanding of the variety and evolution of such governance arrangements, and our capacity to evaluate their operation and performance, remain in its infancy. As Elinor Ostrom observed, this state of affairs is to a large extent imputable to the tendency to explain phenomena and imagine governance solutions in terms of the standard dichotomy between “private” and “public,” or “market” and “state.”

Interdisciplinary institutional research into polycentric governance is vital. Rising to the challenges facing us in the 21st century – ranging from natural resource depletion, decarbonization, food insecurity and international migration to civic disaffection, personal data management, scientific knowledge sharing and space exploration – will require viewing these pressing problems through the lens of polycentricity.

The 7th WINIR Conference will explore these and other related issues. The conference will take place online on four afternoons from Tuesday 6 to Friday 9 September 2022 between roughly 12pm and 6.30pm UK time.

Keynotes lectures will be given by:

Elizabeth Baldwin (University of Arizona, USA)
Tine de Moor (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Harini Nagendra (Azim Premji University, India)

Individual abstracts and 3 or 4-paper session proposals related to the conference theme or any other aspect of institutional research in line with WINIR’s aims and research priorities are welcome. All submissions are evaluated by the WINIR Scientific Quality Committee.

The submission portal is now closed. For enquiries please write to

Browse the list of accepted papers, sessions and roundtables.

Please note the following important dates:

10 May 2022 - Deadline for individual papers and session proposals

17 May 2022 - Extended deadline for individal papers and session proposals

24 May 2022 - Notifications of acceptance
25 May 2022 - Registration opens
1 July 2022 - Early registration deadline
31 July 2022 - Registration deadline for accepted authors
1 August 2022 - Non-registered authors removed from programme
15 August 2022 - Full paper submission deadline


Organising committee:
Francesca Gagliardi (, David Gindis (, Georgina Gomez (, Nadia von Jacobi (

Generous support for the WINIR Conference on Polycentric Governance & the Challenges of the 21st Century is provided by