A Special Issue on Commoning

Commoning: The Production of Common Worlds. Commons – Practices, boundaries and thresholds.

Edited by Giacomo D’Alisa & Cristina Mattiucci. Quadernos, Explorations in Space and Society No. 30 – December 2013

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Extract from the editorial by Giacomo D’Alisa and Cristina Mattiucci:

“Commons is becoming an increasingly crucial topic in the political arena. On one hand, academic debate has focused on de?ning the characteristics of common goods and services, as well as on the analysis of managing institutional frameworks: in this vein, some scholars have shown how self-organised communities guarantee the sustainability of commons resources, while others – taking a mainstream approach – have described the commons as a failure of the market, in the wake of a new wave of enclosures. On the other hand, a varied group of commoners have been experimenting for decades the pooling of social and political practices. These practices have contributed to the identi?cation and recognition of commons; they have transformed current values and produced speci?c spatial and social relationships. These sets of pooling practices concerning spaces, goods, times and knowledges are often turned into the expression of new practices of citizenship as well as alternative life schemes. In any case, commoning is not yet a coherent political project. The social forces of capital can easily co-opt those interstitial practices, creating new markets out of them. Commons have already been dealt with recently in loS quaderno (see e.g. no. 29 pp.25-27 and no. 25, pp. 29-31). Following these contributions, we have decided to expand this study into a whole issue, aiming to move some steps – among the others – towards the building of a coherent and robust critical perspective about the capitalisms on the commons. The call raised several questions in order to foster a debate that would tackle the interpretation as well as the rhetoric of commons, as they are tested on, or applied to, speci?c spaces and places. The authors who have answered the call have proposed very di?erent frameworks and tales of experiences, opening up even more the discussion about the usual boundaries and thresholds. Contributions thus range from more classical ones – founded mainly on Elinor Ostrom’s theory of commons – to more antagonistic ones – founded on an epistemology that interprets the commons’ manifold and sometimes unexpected social and spatial features.”


Contents include:

Explaining the success of the commons. A multidisciplinary perspective; Jampel Dell’Angelo
Con?icts in the commons; Ludger Gailing
Landscape is a commons! Roberto Dini
Capturing a Luxurious Commons through State Intervention; Helene Finidori
Show me the action, and I will show you the commons!; Leila Dawney
Commoning: the production of common worlds; Marta Traquino
Diversity in a common space; Paul Blokker
Commons, constitutions and critique; Jeff Rose
“This place is about the struggle”. Producing the common through homelessness and biopolitical resistance in a public park; Niccolò Cuppini

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