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Title: Commoning : on the social organisation of the commons
Authors: Fournier, Valérie
First Published: 20-Dec-2013
Publisher: AIMS (Association Internationale de Management Stratégique)
Citation: M@n@gement, 2013, 16 (4), pp. 433-453
Abstract: Despite centuries of enclosure and commodification, the commons remain an enduring way of organising, and one that may have an increasing relevance as we fall further into economic and ecological crisis. After exploring the ambivalent relationships between the commons and capitalism, the paper argues that the commons are best understood not as a resource but as a social process of organisation and production. The paper begins by considering the work of Elinor Ostrom, which has been essential in demonstrating that the commons involve community, some collective organisation for sharing and preserving common resources. Ostrom, however, only considered some aspects of the commons. She explored how communities organise in commons to share resources between individual members but she ignored the fact that commons may not only be distributed in common but also may be used in commons and in this process may be reproductive of community. The paper moves on to explore these processes of organising for the commons and of the commons by drawing on three brief examples: a commune, a community of local residents reclaiming their neighbourhood and a social centre. Using these examples, the paper then discusses the mode of organising that underpins the commons in terms of the production and distribution of use as well as the reliance on the principle of ‘reciprocity in perpetuity’ (Pedersen, 2010). The conclusion suggests that considering the failure of markets and states to address the crises in which we find ourselves, developing and understanding the commons has become an urgent task.
ISSN: 1286-4692
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2013, M@n@gement and the author. Licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 License.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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