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Keywords: Public Policy, Environmental and Water Policy, Social Network Analysis

My research focuses on the design of institutions created to manage transboundary water resources. I combine institutional and social network analysis tools to understand how institutional design affects and it is affected by interactions among policy actors.

Water Governance in the Lower Chubut River Valley

Governing water in the Patagonian steppe

The Lower Valley of the Chubut River in Argentina is the second most productive region within Patagonia, providing almost half of the agricultural production of the Chubut province while concentrating over 60% of the province's population.

In the Lower Valley, 5 municipalities coexist along with farmer and ranchers, sharing water from the Chubut river to satisfy their needs. As with most of Patagonia, many of the natural resource policies in the region are often uncoordinated at both the national and subnational levels. This project is a collaborative endeavor with the Red Ecofluvial de la Patagonia to  study the water governance structure of the Lower Valley, as well as to propose alternatives for a sustainable management of the resources in the region.

Recent publications:

Olivier, Tomás, and Ramiro Berardo. (forthcoming) ``Birds  of a feather fight together: forum involvement in a developing Ecology of Policy Games." Policy Studies Journal. 

Pascual, Miguel, Tomás Olivier, Laura Brandizi, Pablo Rimoldi, H. Andrés Malnero, and Gabriel Kaless. (2020). “Cuenca del Río Chubut. Análisis de Situación para Fondos de Agua. Fase de factibilidad: Versión 1.” Alianza Latinoamericana de Fondos de Agua. 180pp. (In Spanish). Available here.



Institutions as networks

Networks of Prescribed Interactions

By combining insights from the Institutional Grammar Tool with concepts from Social Network Analysis, it is possible to develop and test hypotheses regarding the design of formal institutional arrangements as well as the effect of formal rules on individual behavior.

Recent publications:

Olivier, Tomás, and Edella Schlager. (2021). “Rules and the ruled:understanding patterns of institutional design and behavior in complex polycentric systems.”Policy Studies Journal.

Olivier, Tomás, Tyler Scott, and Edella Schlager. (2020). “Institutional design and complexity: protocol network structure in response to different collective-action dilemmas.” In Fischer, Manuel and Karin Ingold (eds). Networks in Water Governance. Palgrave Studies in Water Governance: Policy and Practice.Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Olivier, Tomás. (2019). “How do institutions address collective-action problems? Bridging and bonding in institutional design.”Political Research Quarterly, 72(1): 162-176.

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