PECS #4: Institutional analysis with Abby York

Building upon the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, this talk surveys complementary mixed methods. Focusing on the bidirectional feedbacks between institutions and the environment, Abby York discusses how she and transdisciplinary teams use a suite of qualitative, quantitative, and modeling approaches to understand when policies and norms change due to environmental or other factors and how institutions, in turn, affect the environment. The talk will use vignettes from several ongoing research projects including on western water use, urbanization in Phoenix, and governance in the face of dramatic sea ice change in the Arctic to motivate the discussion.

Dr Abigail York ( is an Associate Professor of Governance and Public Policy at Arizona State University.  She is fascinated by the ways that people come together to collectively govern resources, York investigates how, when, why, and who is able to manage neighborhoods, cities, forests, water resources, biodiversity hotpots, and agricultural lands sustainably. By focusing on diverse research sites in the present, historic, and ancient contexts within the USA and around the world, she is able to better understand generalizable principles for governance. Funded by National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, York has examined urbanization in the southwest USA, collaborative environmental gov