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HOW TO BE A CRITICAL
SCHOLAR OF THE COMMONS?
UNDERSTANDING THE COMMONS IN ALL THEIR DIMENSIONS
TINE DE MOOR
The Internatio...
The IASC Council Members welcome all participants of
the 1st IASC thematic meeting on Urban Commons!
Tine De Moor
Presiden...
BOLOGNA: FERTILE GROUND FOR
SUCCESSFUL COOPERATION!
• Hosts the oldest university in the world
• Region of many medieval c...
WHAT ARE COMMONS?
All that we
share?
All the
resources we
own
collectively?
Sharing
economy?Citizens’
initiatives?
Collabo...
WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT WHAT
WE MEAN WHEN BY COMMONS?
• Distinguishing the commons from other governance
models -> distin...
WHY SUCH A DIFFICULT CONCEPT?
• Very long-term use -> long history of potential “misuse”
• Hardin: application of concept ...
WHY DOES THE CURRENT “PARADIGM
SHIFT” SEEM REVOLUTIONARY?
• We have forgotten about the collectivity as a ‘valid’
organisa...
BUT IS IT REALLY REVOLUTIONARY?
ONCE UPON A TIME IN EUROPE…
• « Land that is managed and used in common »
• Different term...
MARKE RAALTERWOOLD (OVERRIJSEL,
NETHERLANDS), (BEFORE) 1445 – 1859
Markenboek 1615 (incl. copies of earlier regulations) -...
ESKDALE COMMONS (CUMBRIA, ENGLAND)
MIDDLE AGES - C. 1859
Common rights: pasture, peat
and turves, bracken
See also:
http:/...
GEMENE AND LOWEIDEN (NEAR BRUGES,
BELGIUM): 14TH CENTURY-TODAY
Common rights: mainly
pastureland
Access for descendants fr...
COMMONS IN THE
NETHERLANDS
1
10
100
1000
Markegenootschappen
Totaal
log
WHAT WERE THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF
COMMONS AS GOVERNANCE MODEL?
• Directed towards production/management of resource that...
WHICH MOTIVATIONS DID THE
HISTORICAL COMMONERS HAVE IN
COMMON?
• Economies of scale
• Collective bargaining position towar...
GUILDS –URBAN VERSION OF
COMMONS
1
10
100
1000
Gilden Totaal
log
FIRST WAVE:
COMMONS, GUILDS, WATERBOARDS...:
1000-1600 (EXAMPLE NETHERLANDS)
1
10
100
1000
1000-1024
1025-1049
1050-1074
1...
SECOND WAVE:
COOPERATIVES, ASSOCIATIONS,
LABOUR UNIONS, 1880-1920
1
10
100
1000
10000
Cooperatives
Associations
Labour uni...
EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF
NEW COOPERATIVES PER SECTOR
1990-2012 (NETHERLANDS)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180 Banken
In...
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ICAS IN
THE PAST AND TODAY
• Goals have been “split-up”:
• Historical:
• Social and economic benefits/...
A THREE-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO COMMONS
INSTITUTIONS
RESOURCES
USERS
De Moor, 2009
& 2015
A THREE-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO COMMONS
INSTITUTIONS
RESOURCES
USERS
PRIVATELY GOVERNED?
INSTITUTIONS
RESOURCES
USERS
One
user/firm
STATE GOVERNED?
INSTITUTIONS
RESOURCES
USERS
Multiple
anonymous users
IDENTIFYING DYNAMICS TO UNDERSTAND MECHANISMS BEHIND
RESILIENT COMMONS
INSTITUTIONS
RESOURCES
USERS
De Moor, 2009
& 2015
R...
THE CHALLENGE TO COMMONS-
RESEARCHERS IN GENERAL
 Be specific! Not everything is a common!
 Resilience, not stability!
...
CHALLENGES FOR SCHOLARS OF
THE URBAN COMMONS
• Study difficulties and failures of commons, e.g. very
mobile population
• T...
CHALLENGES TO FUTURE
ADVOCATES OF COMMONS
• Beclear: commons is a term precious to us all, we need
to keep it that way
• C...
IASC –WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
FUTURE CONFERENCES
5 conferences from fall 2015 until summer 2017
o 3 thematic
o 1 regional
o 1 biennial
New calls for con...
Regional IASC Meeting (Europe)
‘Commons in a 'glocal' world:
global connections and local responses’
Bern (Switzerland), 2...
IASC Thematic Meeting
‘Advancing knowledge commons
through legal & social changes’
Paris (France), 20-21 October 2016
Tom
...
Regional IASC Meeting (N. America/Arctic)
‘Reality, richness, and responsibility
of an arctic commons’
Anchorage, Alaska (...
XVIth Biennial IASC Meeting
‘Practicing the commons’
Utrecht (The Netherlands), 10 –14 July 2017
Tine
De Moor
Tine De Moor, President, IASC How To Be A Critical Scholar Of The Commons? Understanding The Commons In All Their Dimensions
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Tine De Moor, President, IASC How To Be A Critical Scholar Of The Commons? Understanding The Commons In All Their Dimensions

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How to be a critical scholar of the commons? Understanding The Commons In All Their Dimensions

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Tine De Moor, President, IASC How To Be A Critical Scholar Of The Commons? Understanding The Commons In All Their Dimensions

  1. 1. HOW TO BE A CRITICAL SCHOLAR OF THE COMMONS? UNDERSTANDING THE COMMONS IN ALL THEIR DIMENSIONS TINE DE MOOR The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)
  2. 2. The IASC Council Members welcome all participants of the 1st IASC thematic meeting on Urban Commons! Tine De Moor President John Powell President-Elect Leticia Merino Past- President Marco Janssen Council Member Lapologang Magole Council Member Insa Theesfeld Council Member Anne Larson Council Member Charles Schweik Council Member René van Weeren Executive Director Alyne Delaney Editor The Commons Digest Frank van Laerhoven Editor-in-chief International Journal of the Commons Sergio Villamayor Managing Editor International Journal of the Commons Emily Castle Information Officer Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop Michael Schoon Editor-in-chief International Journal of the Commons The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Council members Ex-officio members
  3. 3. BOLOGNA: FERTILE GROUND FOR SUCCESSFUL COOPERATION! • Hosts the oldest university in the world • Region of many medieval communes • Many cooperatives, Emilia-Romagna being one of the regions where coops are most succesful in Europe • Region with many old commons in the countryside • Powerful societies of urban craftsmen (guilds) • Civic cooperation treaty of Bologna -> Ideal place to stimulate dialogue between all enthusiasts of the commons! ! First condition for fertile dialogue: agree on what we are all talking about.....
  4. 4. WHAT ARE COMMONS? All that we share? All the resources we own collectively? Sharing economy?Citizens’ initiatives? Collaborative consumption and production? Common Pool Institutions? Common Property Regimes? Common Pool Resources? Peer-to- peer- economy?
  5. 5. WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT WHAT WE MEAN WHEN BY COMMONS? • Distinguishing the commons from other governance models -> distinctive role in use and governance resource with distinctive results • Realistic perspective on commons • Recognition that commons as governance model has its limits and difficulties • Potential also depends on type of resource • Future functioning also depends changing circumstances -> Avoid “private prop-story”: disappointment and critique due to too great expectations
  6. 6. WHY SUCH A DIFFICULT CONCEPT? • Very long-term use -> long history of potential “misuse” • Hardin: application of concept of commons on global resources with different features than • Conceptual “overstretch” of term commons: features of open access resources without controls imposed on access and use • Local example for problems on global scale • Linkage of wrong features (e.g. lack of communication means) • In an era of emerging awareness about environmental problems • Negative connotation to collective use not new but can now be contrasted to “consolidated” private an state solutions • Ostrom: Return to original features of concept but broadening to other types of resources (a.o. Irrigation commons) • Today: applied to many different resources and services AND types of collectivities
  7. 7. WHY DOES THE CURRENT “PARADIGM SHIFT” SEEM REVOLUTIONARY? • We have forgotten about the collectivity as a ‘valid’ organisational unit 18th century: -The “individual” becomes the central unit in society (Enlightenment) -rationalisation of agriculture through Physiocratie 19th century: Nation State: -introduction of code civil as legal basis for individual rights -organisation of society becomes centralised, including legal and economic basis -> 1750s-1850s: implementation of regional and national legislations across Europe to abolish/split up/sell the commons e.g. Belgium, 1847: “Loi sur le défrichement” = in fact a privatisation law -> by middle 19th century: centralised dissolution of common land allover Western Europe
  8. 8. BUT IS IT REALLY REVOLUTIONARY? ONCE UPON A TIME IN EUROPE… • « Land that is managed and used in common » • Different terms: • Dutch: gemene grond, heirnis, meent, markegenootschap… • German: Markgenossenschaften, Allemende,… • In Europe: originated mainly in 12th-13th century, during/after Great Reclamations (10-12th century) • Mixed agricultural system demanded balance between arable and pasture land • In reaction to pressure on mixed-agricultural system as reaction to demographic pressure • Main aim of institutionalisation: achieving balance in exploitation level • Often as land conflict settlements between lords and villagers • Divided rights on same piece of land • Beforehand: common use of land within family-clan-tribe
  9. 9. MARKE RAALTERWOOLD (OVERRIJSEL, NETHERLANDS), (BEFORE) 1445 – 1859 Markenboek 1615 (incl. copies of earlier regulations) - 1859
  10. 10. ESKDALE COMMONS (CUMBRIA, ENGLAND) MIDDLE AGES - C. 1859 Common rights: pasture, peat and turves, bracken See also: http://www.collective- action.info/_CAS_COM_ENG_Esk daleCommonManorCourt Experts: E. Straughton and A. Winchester
  11. 11. GEMENE AND LOWEIDEN (NEAR BRUGES, BELGIUM): 14TH CENTURY-TODAY Common rights: mainly pastureland Access for descendants from specific families only
  12. 12. COMMONS IN THE NETHERLANDS 1 10 100 1000 Markegenootschappen Totaal log
  13. 13. WHAT WERE THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF COMMONS AS GOVERNANCE MODEL? • Directed towards production/management of resource that is rivalrous and of which use can be limited • Self-governance: self-reguation, self-sanctioning, self- management • Participation of stakeholders in decision making processes • Identifiability of those with rights -> boundaries to the group! • Strong trust in and dependence on « group norms » (<-> legal enactments) • Bottom-up formation THROUGH: • Right to vote in meetings (linked to household) • Obligation to attend meetings • Election of representatives • Rotation of responsibilities (incl. the annoying ones) • Intensive social control and sanctions for malefactors • Liability of those who shirk responsibility
  14. 14. WHICH MOTIVATIONS DID THE HISTORICAL COMMONERS HAVE IN COMMON? • Economies of scale • Collective bargaining position towards authorities • Sharing risks and resources • Lower search and information costs • internal agreement on the price of the goods • collective meetings with compulsory attendance • Reduced transaction costs due to group-based access regulation BUT WHY ? Reaction to periods of increased commercialisation, privatisation and subsequent market failure
  15. 15. GUILDS –URBAN VERSION OF COMMONS 1 10 100 1000 Gilden Totaal log
  16. 16. FIRST WAVE: COMMONS, GUILDS, WATERBOARDS...: 1000-1600 (EXAMPLE NETHERLANDS) 1 10 100 1000 1000-1024 1025-1049 1050-1074 1100-1124 1125-1149 1175-1199 1200-1224 1225-1249 1250-1274 1275-1299 1300-1324 1325-1349 1350-1374 1375-1399 1400-1424 1425-1449 1450-1474 1475-1499 1500-1524 1525-1549 1550-1574 1575-1599 1600-1624 1625-1649 1650-1674 1675-1699 1700-1724 1725-1749 1750-1774 1775-1800 Begijnhoven Gilden Markegenootschappen Waterschappen Totaal Liberalization Formationofnation- states log
  17. 17. SECOND WAVE: COOPERATIVES, ASSOCIATIONS, LABOUR UNIONS, 1880-1920 1 10 100 1000 10000 Cooperatives Associations Labour unions Total RURAL!!
  18. 18. EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF NEW COOPERATIVES PER SECTOR 1990-2012 (NETHERLANDS) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 Banken In & verkoop food In & verkoop nonfood Industrie, Energie & transport Kunst & Cultuur Land & Tuinbouw Onderwijs Overige Prof. dienstv. Scheepvaart Verzekeraars Wonen, Recreatie & Vastgoed Zorg Totaal
  19. 19. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ICAS IN THE PAST AND TODAY • Goals have been “split-up”: • Historical: • Social and economic benefits/purposes brought together into one collective • Consumption and production together • Now: participating in several different collectivities is essential to provide for all everyday needs -> Disadvantage: • Reduces the opportunities for using reciprocal behaviour as a complementary incentive • To provide for all needs, one needs to be a member of several different collectivities • Memberships of individual members last considerably shorter • Life span of modern institutions is remarkably shorter than life span of institutions that emerged in the first wave -> less resilient institutions?
  20. 20. A THREE-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO COMMONS INSTITUTIONS RESOURCES USERS De Moor, 2009 & 2015
  21. 21. A THREE-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO COMMONS INSTITUTIONS RESOURCES USERS
  22. 22. PRIVATELY GOVERNED? INSTITUTIONS RESOURCES USERS One user/firm
  23. 23. STATE GOVERNED? INSTITUTIONS RESOURCES USERS Multiple anonymous users
  24. 24. IDENTIFYING DYNAMICS TO UNDERSTAND MECHANISMS BEHIND RESILIENT COMMONS INSTITUTIONS RESOURCES USERS De Moor, 2009 & 2015 RESILIENCE
  25. 25. THE CHALLENGE TO COMMONS- RESEARCHERS IN GENERAL  Be specific! Not everything is a common!  Resilience, not stability!  To avoid vulnerability to crises and system instability  Evolution and change in respons to changing external conditions  Efficiency, utility and equity need to be in balance -> Identify the circumstances under which commons can be organisations that offer high resource efficiency, high user utility and very equitable institutions so that RESILIENCE becomes possible -> identify the circumstances and resources for which commons do not work as governance model
  26. 26. CHALLENGES FOR SCHOLARS OF THE URBAN COMMONS • Study difficulties and failures of commons, e.g. very mobile population • Think ‘out-of-the-city”’: does this work with lower concentrations in demand? • Create a “civil market”: tackle inequality not through redistribution but participation (prosumers) in order to include all generations and income levels? • How to connect to local and supra-local powers? What are the enabling factors of a “Partner State”?
  27. 27. CHALLENGES TO FUTURE ADVOCATES OF COMMONS • Beclear: commons is a term precious to us all, we need to keep it that way • Connect commons and enhancing visibility • Collaborate with governments and market partners • Consider how to make sure that the commons as governance model become a choice out of wealth, out of positive choice, instead out of need ULTIMATE GOAL: a society with a high degree of institutional diversity, including commons
  28. 28. IASC –WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
  29. 29. FUTURE CONFERENCES 5 conferences from fall 2015 until summer 2017 o 3 thematic o 1 regional o 1 biennial New calls for conference proposals 2016-2019: o XVIIth Biennial Conference to be held in 2019: call in Fall 2015 o Regional/Thematic Conferences to be held in 2017-2018: call in Fall 2016 -> next urban commons meeting in 2018? -> practitioners meetings -> concrete requests to researchers
  30. 30. Regional IASC Meeting (Europe) ‘Commons in a 'glocal' world: global connections and local responses’ Bern (Switzerland), 2-5 May 2016 Tobias Haller Stephan Rist
  31. 31. IASC Thematic Meeting ‘Advancing knowledge commons through legal & social changes’ Paris (France), 20-21 October 2016 Tom Dedeurwaerdere Séverine Dusollier
  32. 32. Regional IASC Meeting (N. America/Arctic) ‘Reality, richness, and responsibility of an arctic commons’ Anchorage, Alaska (USA), September 2016 Mara Kimmel
  33. 33. XVIth Biennial IASC Meeting ‘Practicing the commons’ Utrecht (The Netherlands), 10 –14 July 2017 Tine De Moor

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