Researchers from the Center for Governance and Markets awarded Elinor Ostrom Prize

October 30, 2023
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A group of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Governance and Markets has been awarded the prestigious Elinor Ostrom Prize for their article, “Community policing on American Indian reservations: a preliminary investigation.” Adam Crepelle, Tate Fegley, Ilia Murtazashvili, and Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili received the award at the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR) conference in Catania, Italy, this September, identifying their work as the top research article published in the Journal of Institutional Economics (JOIE) in the past year.  

The Ostrom Prize was named for Elinor Ostrom, a pioneer in the interdisciplinary field of institutional research, who in 2009 became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics. Among her many contributions, Ostrom showed that neighborhood policing in municipalities was integral in improving the quality of municipal policing services. The desire to understand how communities can address their own challenges, while recognizing that these communities are nested in higher levels of government, is one of the core research themes of the Center for Governance and Markets (CGM) in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Pitt.

Professor Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili teaches in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and is also the founding director of CGM, where the article’s authors conducted their research.  Their work is part of the Center’s larger and ongoing initiative to understand barriers to prosperity for Native communities.  

Ilia Murtazashvili, also a Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and codirector at CGM, was also recognized as one of three ‘Reviewers of the Year’ in recognition of his invaluable service over the past twelve months, an honor announced alongside the Ostrom Prize at the WINIR conference.

We are grateful that our research has been recognized, while emphasizing that there is much more research needed to understand how to improve the policing situation on American Indian reservations,” Murtazashvili noted. “Citizens of Native Nations have come up with many ways to improve policing but confront obstacles arising from the ongoing legacy of continuing paternalistic policies that undermine Tribal sovereignty to provide policing services. Our research is thus an invitation and call for more engaged work to understand what works and what doesn't work in the ongoing efforts to improve criminal justice in Indian country.”

A former postdoctoral fellow at CGM, Tate Fegley serves as Assistant Professor and Chair of Business and Economics at Montreat University. He studies political economy with a focus on law and criminal justice institutions.

Adam Crepelle is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University of Chicago, focusing on criminal justice and economic development issues related to Indigenous Peoples. A member of the United Houma Nation, Crepelle is a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and former commissioner of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. He has also produced research alongside co-author Ilia Murtazashvili at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Project on Renewing Indigenous Economies.