Diagnosing Institutional Fit: a Formal Perspective
Michael Cox, Dartmouth College
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I attempt to demonstrate that the concept of institutional fit and the closely related approach of institutional diagnosis can be improved with the process of formalization. In this context, the concept of fit is interpreted as a way of expressing certain theoretical propositions that relate a set of variables with each other and with an outcome. This perspective is demonstrated through the use of the Web Ontology Language to express several "theories of fit." Using a formal language to describe types of fit and their associated theories is argued to have much potential for advancing the scientific study of social-ecological systems.
diagnostics; formalization; institutional fit; social-ecological systems