Few these days are not obsessed by reading the news. Profound and epic changes bearing political, economic and humanitarian crisis are unfolding in front of our eyes without a sign to detour from a dangerous path. The worst news is that basic democratic principles considered as given in Western democracies are more fragile now than never before.
Many look for political alternatives beyond market and state as known so far (Urban Commons: Moving Beyond State and Market), and in this panorama the concept of “commons” is emerging bearing the promises of reframing the discontent of many, towards more equitable socio-economic governance models.
Commoning and the commons are concepts concerned with the management of human and natural resources. Originated in Medieval England, commons have been developed over the world assuming different names and statutes for managing rights over shared goods be land, forestry, agriculture etc.
Economists, starting with the work of W.F. Lloyd in mid 19th century shaded lights on the limits of commons, further elaborated in the overly quoted classical piece as “tragedy “in the work of the ecologist G.Hardin in 1968. Hardin shows that under lack of regulations over a common good, exploitation due to self-interest of individuals, may lead to depletion of the good itself. His work has been foundational for ecology, environmental science, for studying issues related to demographic growth in relation to the notion of “carrying capacity”.
Video: Tragedy of the Commons, The Problem with Open Access