Call for Papers - Virtual Workshop & Special Issue | Economics Research Group

Call for Papers - Virtual Workshop & Special Issue

Call for Papers

Virtual Workshop & Special Issue of Economics of Governance on "Polycentrism vs Gargantua in Municipal Governance: Crises and Community Resilience"

Virtual Workshop Hosts

Center for Free Enterprise (CFE), West Virginia University

Economics Research Group (ERG), University of North Texas

Special Issue Guest Editors

Joshua C. Hall, Lead Guest Editor, West Virginia University (

Michael C. Carroll, University of North Texas (

Yang Zhou, Contacting Guest Editor, University of North Texas (


Following from the seminal paper from Ostrom et al. (1961), there is a large theoretical and empirical literature on polycentrism versus consolidation - sometimes called "the reform tradition" or "gargantua" - in economics, public administration, and regional science. The reform tradition or gargantuan tradition emphasizes economies of scale and enhanced coordination through the simplification of collective action. The polycentrist tradition tends to emphasize the use of local knowledge, experimentation, and the opportunities for self-governance that come from decentralization and competition. Research on polycentrism vs. gargantua largely focuses on efficiency, with a smaller number of papers focusing on equity.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a growing literature on how metropolitan communities rebound from crises arose. While this literature utilizes insights from the polycentrism vs. gargantua literature, its primary focus is on case studies of individual communities embedded in a larger metropolitan area. There is very little in the post-disaster recovery literature on the role of municipal governance structure on community rebound and resiliency.

Aims and Scope

This virtual workshop and special issue aim at addressing the need to integrate these two literatures to understand how the structure of municipal governance affects the ability of different communities throughout a municipality to deal with and recover from crises. Examples of possible research questions include:

• "How did the structure of local government in New Orleans affect the ability of the entire New Orleans MSA to recover from Katrina?"

• "Does polycentrism insulate a city from, or expose a city to, the effects of a national recession?"

• "Are consolidated municipal governments better able to respond to natural disasters and economic crises?"

• "What role does municipal governance play in supporting or inhibiting civil society efforts to rebound from crises?"

• "How does municipal governance structure foster or impede social capital formation, which has been shown to be crucial to community recovery from crises?"

Virtual Workshop & Special Issue Submission

The Center for Free Enterprise at West Virginia University and the Economics Research Group at the University of North Texas will hold a virtual workshop on these and other questions related to the degree of polycentrism in municipal governance and crises. This virtual workshop would bring together scholars working in this area to workshop papers for a special issue of Economics of Governance on the topics. The one-day virtual workshop is currently scheduled to be hold on Wednesday, 01 December 2021.

Authors will need to submit their working papers for the consideration of the virtual workshop at The authors will be notified via email if their papers are selected for the workshop.

Papers presented at the virtual workshop will be further invited for consideration of an Economics of Governance special issue. More details about submission to the journal will be provided later.

Virtual workshop submission deadline: 01 November 2021.