MIDI Project

Modelling institutional dynamics in historical commons (MIDI)


The Modelling institutional dynamics in historical commons (MIDI) project adopts an interdisciplinary perspective to contribute empirically-grounded and systematic knowledge of the mechanisms driving the process of institutional change. Its starting point is a dataset of European commons-management institutions composed by the Research Team Institutions for Collective Action of Utrecht University in the Common Rules-project.


Aims of the project


The goal of the project is to exploit our interdisciplinary competences


  1. to recode the dataset on the basis of a systematic institutional analysis framework,
  2. to fully exploit its potential through the use of data mining and evolutionary analysis techniques, and
  3. to embed the resulting knowledge in an agent-based model capturing the essential dynamics of institutional change.




More in detail, after the recoding phase the researchers involved will adopt techniques developed to study gene se-quences to uncover the relations between the different systems of rules and their development over time. Then these dynamics will be embedded into an agent-based model, which will allow historians and social scientists to perform virtual experiments to test alternative hypotheses about the factors that led to the development of specific institutional arrangements and to create plausible scenarios of their future development.


Researchers involved 


The project is part of the research in the Computational Social Sciences research group and in the Linnaeus University Centre of Excellence (LNUC) for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications.


Linnaeus University (Sweden)

Giangiacomo Bravo, project coordinator and manager

Mike Farjam

Anders Forsman


Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)

Amineh Ghorbani

Molood Ale Ebrahim Dehkordi


Utrecht University (The Netherlands)

Tine De Moor

René van Weeren


Funding and timeframe


The project is funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and runs from 1 January 2018 until the end of 2019.