From commons-management scholar Elinor Ostrom:
Policies That Crowd out Reciprocity and Collective Action
“Thus, instead of proposing highly centralized governance systems, the best empirical evidence we can bring to bear on the question of building sustainable democratic systems for sustainable resource use is to design polycentric systems…. The essential elements of polycentric systems are mechanisms for generating information about patterns of interactions and outcomes and mechanisms for oversight and self-correction.”
from her essay in Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life edited by Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd, and Ernst Fehr (MIT Press).