In 2009, the American political economist Elinor Ostrom became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Economics. Strictly speaking, she was neither an economist nor was the prize a Nobel but, in fact, the Swedish bank prize. Born “poor”, in her own words, in California in the summer of 1933, she published Governing the Commons in 1990 and died in 2012 of cancer. I was lucky enough to meet her myself and have been fortunate to spend the last two years researching her work in detail. I am an anti-capitalist, and while she would not have accepted this label, I will argue here that those who want to create a democratic and ecological economy that transcends the market and the state, will find enormous inspiration in her work.
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