Capitalism and the Commons : Just Commons in the Era of Multiple Crises book cover
1st Edition

Capitalism and the Commons
Just Commons in the Era of Multiple Crises

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 30, 2020
ISBN 9780367420024
December 30, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
202 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Capitalism and the Commons focuses on land-based commons, the political and social perspectives they offer, how the commons are appropriated by capital and state, and how these appropriations are contested, and transformed by social initiatives and movements.

The book has three main themes: conceptualizing the commons; analyzing practices of commoning; and exploring commons politics. It also focuses on the development of anti-capitalist commons and explores the issue of practice and politics through case studies from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Austria, India, Indonesia and South Korea, ranging from peri-urban and rural agriculture to family and community gardens, to forests and water, as well as more general struggles for green or urban commons and how these manifest in the Global South as well as in the Global North. The book clarifies that not all discourses on the commons serve the profound social change necessary and instead reinvigorates the political meaning of the commons. It provides an original and important approach to the topic in terms of conceptualization, detailing diverse empirical realities, and analyzing potential policy directions. The book has both a historical and a contemporary angle, transcends narrow disciplinary boundaries, and provides a global focus.

Providing a fresh perspective on the commons as a decisive component of alternatives this title will be relevant to students and scholars of resource management, social movements and sustainable development more broadly.

Table of Contents


1. Expanding the Scope: The Commons Within and Beyond Capitalism in Crisis
Andreas Exner, Stephan Hochleithner, Sarah Kumnig

2. Towards the Commons through the Gift
Andreas Exner


3. Commoning Land Access: Collective Purchase and Squatting of Agricultural Lands in Germany and Austria
Sarah Kumnig and Marit Rosol

4. "We don’t eat flowers" –Spatial Empowerment and Commons in Peri-urban Agroecological Networks as Answer to Socio-ecological Conflicts in Colombia
Birgit Hoinle

5. Women’s Struggles for Land in Africa and the Reconstruction of the Commons
Silvia Federici

6. War and the Commons: Enclosures and Capitalist Mobilization of Spatial Configurations in Course of Armed Conflict –the Case of North Kivu, DRC.
Stephan Hochleithner


7. Urban Undercommons: Solidarities Before and Beyond the National Imaginary
Niki Kubaczek and Sheri Avraham

8. Cracking Territorial Commons –the Gongyuji Movement in Seoul, South Korea
Yoonai Han and Seon Young Lee


9. Public-Common Partnerships, Autogestion, and the Right to the City.
Keir Milburn and Bertie Russell

10. South African Commoning, Cooperatives, and Eco-socialist Potentials in the Context of COVID-19
Patrick Bond and Meron Okbandrias


11. Liberating the Commons by Commoning Commons Research: The Enclosure of Reality and the Systematization of Experience
Barbara Stefan and Andreas Exner

12. Disengaging Capitalism: A Polyphonic Conclusion
Andreas Exner, Stephan Hochleithner, Sarah Kumnig

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Andreas Exner, RCE Graz-Styria, Centre for Sustainable Social Transformation, University of Graz, Austria.

Sarah Kumnig, Institute for Sociology and Social Research, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria.

Stephan Hochleithner, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland.