The Future of Commons
Summer Academy 2022 for Pluralist Economics, 2022
This workshop was originally taught at the Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics 2022
Instructors: Friederike Habermann, Simon Sutterlütti (Commons Institute, Germany)
The Future of Commons – Workshop
Commons stand for a plurality of practices ‘beyond market and state’ as the famous Commons scholar – and first female noble prize winner of economics - Elinor Ostrom put it. Their practice and theory challenge classical economic theory and stand for a different mode of caring, producing and governing. Within this workshop we want to dive into theory, practice and utopia of Commons following four blocks:
Our first block will be dedicated to understanding Commons. Different approaches to analyze Commons were put forward, and in discussion with Garret Hardin’s ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, neoclassical commons theory, Ostroms school and others we try to understand history, well-known commons projects – such as Wikipedia, common pastures or community-supported agriculture - and everyday practice of Commoning – the practice of producing Commons.
Our second block investigates the relationship of Commons and other form of socioeconomic provisioning such as market economy and state-planned economy. Commons activists and theorists put Commoning forward as a third-way of economic re/production that is essentially democratic, care-oriented and develops a non-colonizing relationship towards our natural surroundings. We will evaluate their critic of market and state-planned economy and discuss their claims.
As Commons usually are thought to be small-scale or niche-phenomena in our third block we take a look at theories that try to upscale Commoning to a society-wide mode of coordination, caring and production such as Ecommony, Care-Economy or Commonism.
Our fourth block is dedicated to the question of socio-ecological transformation. Commons theoretician and activists criticized existing transformation theories for devaluating or even neglecting the importance to not only reform existing structures, but to create and even live a different economy. We will discuss these claims and ask what part Commons could and should play in a socio-economic transformation.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0nM5DU4ADI (Peasant Commons),
- https://youtu.be/9Zccga90hcY (Omni Commons),
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPZTh2NKTm4 (Creative Commons) ,
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgVvFhGIXQo (Twin Oaks),
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S63Cy64p2lQ (Open Source Ecology),
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPCGevYDTf8 (Community Supported Agricul.),
- https://youtu.be/EypvZenpIX8 (Dannenröder Forest, German)
Block 1: Hardin, Ostrom & Commons
- Hardin & The Tragedy of the Commons:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxC161GvMPc (Tragedy of the Commons, 5’),
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8yOamWq3a0 (Hardin on the Tragedy of the Commons, 8’)
- Tomašević, T., Horvat, V., Midžić, A, Dragšić, I., Dakić, M. (2018) Commons in South East Europe: Case of Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Macedonia. Institute for Political Ecology, Zagreb.
http://wealthofthecommons.org/essay/global-enclosures-service-empire 29–43. 78–86 (Eko Ganja Pasturing Community)
- Ostrom, Elinor (1990): Governing the Commons, The evolution of institutions for collective action, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Three perspectives on Commons (read & prepare in groups)
Group I: Traditional
- Ostrom: Communal tenure in high mountain meadows and forests: Tröbel, Switzerland (61 - 65) & Similarities among enduring, self-governing CPR institutions (88 – 102)
Group II: Commons Economies
- Peterson, Nicolas (1993), Demand Sharing: Reciprocity and the Pressure for Generosity among Foragers, in: American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 95, No. 4, S. 860-874.
Group III: Pattern Language
- Helfrich, Silke; Bollier, David (2019): Free, Fair and Alive – The Insurgent Power of the Commons, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqvtpOvPxOw , 60’
- Further Reading: Book online: https://www.freefairandalive.org/read-it/ or whole pdf (https://www.boell.de/sites/default/files/free_fair_and_alive_book.pdf?dimension1=ds_commons2019)
Group IV: Post-Capitalism
- J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy, 2016. “Commoning as a postcapitalist politics.” In Releasing the Commons: Rethinking the Futures of the Commons, edited by Ash Amin and Philip Howell, Chapter 12, Routledge.
- Hardin, Garrett (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons. In: Science, Vol. 162, Issue 3859, pp. 1243-1248. [Online], http://science.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full (retrieved, 21.06.2018)
- Helfrich, Silke (ed.); Bollier, David (ed.) (2012): The Wealth of Commons – A World beyond Market and State, http://wealthofthecommons.org/contents: 72 Essays from Commoners
Block 2: Capitalism and the Commons
- George Caffentzis and Silvia Federici (2014): Commons against and beyond capitalism, Community Development Journal , Vol. 49, Supplement 1. Commons Sense: New thinking about an old idea (January 2014), 92-105 (https://www.jstor.org/stable/26166211?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents )
- Euler, Johannes: Johannes Euler (2019) The Commons: A Social Form that Allows for Degrowth and Sustainability, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 30:2, 158-175. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323750113_The_Commons_A_Social_Form_that_Allows_for_Degrowth_and_Sustainability)
- Silivia Federici (2012): Feminism and the Politics of the Commons, http://wealthofthecommons.org/essay/feminism-and-politics-commons (ca. 5p)
- Harvey, David: Crisis of Capitalism. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0, 11’)
- Nelson, Anitra: Money and socialist transformation, (http://www.cnsjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Nelson_27.4.16.pdf)
Block 3: Utopia
- Habermann, Friederike: Ecommony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3jeKros4Yk (10’) & Habermann, Friederike (2016): Ecommony – Re-Care to mutuality, to-be-published. (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wuiU8GWRK4y4toJzVSD40Z3ap6zR_0DF/view?usp=sharing) Ch1, 1- 20
- Sutterlütti, Meretz (2018): Make Capitalism History – An invitation to review the issue of utopia and transformation (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zBvcW1AxEZp8F9cZs8lv1g0l4nAqQ5f1/view?usp=sharing), 134 – 166 (Chapter 6)
- Benkler, Yochai (2006): The Wealth of Networks - How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, (http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_Of_Networks.pdf). 59-67.
- Nelson, Anitra (2022): Beyond Money, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBdE6bwjvgU 21’
Block 4: Transformation
- Sutterlütti, Meretz (2018): Make Capitalism History – An invitation to review the issue of utopia and transformation (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zBvcW1AxEZp8F9cZs8lv1g0l4nAqQ5f1/view?usp=sharing), 177-206 (Chapter 7)
- De Angelis, Massimo (2017): Omnia Sunt Communia - Principles for the Transition to Postcapitalism, Zed Books, London. (https://repository.uel.ac.uk/download/36409e304f68e587158035564fc7b5dd584aecb809d76c3b63a38d48d729e1be/4704436/De%2520Angelis_Omnia%2520Sunt%2520Communia.pdf) 340–347; 385-388.
- Further Reading: Journal #17 - An Architektur - On the Commons: A Public Interview with Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides: https://www.e-flux.com/journal/17/67351/on-the-commons-a-public-interview-with-massimo-de-angelis-and-stavros-stavrides/
- Helfrich, Silke; Bollier, David (2019): Free, Fair and Alive – The Insurgent Power of the Commons, New Society Publisher, Gabriola Island. (https://www.boell.de/sites/default/files/free_fair_and_alive_book.pdf?dimension1=ds_commons2019) 317-319 & 333-346