Releasing the Commons : Rethinking the futures of the commons book cover
1st Edition

Releasing the Commons
Rethinking the futures of the commons

Edited By

Ash Amin


Philip Howell

ISBN 9781138942349
Published May 10, 2016 by Routledge
238 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book moves beyond seeing the commons in the past tense, an entity passed over from the public into the private, to reimagine the commons as a process, a contest of force, a reconstitution, and a site of convening practices. It highlights new spaces of gathering opening up, such as the digital commons, and new practices of being in common, such as community economies and solidarity networks. The commons is seen as a contested domain of the collective and as a changing way of being in common, with the balance poised in the tensile play between political economy and social innovation. The book focuses on the possibility of recovering a future in which more can be held by the many, focusing on three concepts: nation and nature as a commons, publics and rights, and bodies, concerning the management of lives and livelihoods. Across these three passage points, the book finds evidence of a commons under attack but also defended in fragile though promising ways.

With contributions from leading scholars, this thought provoking book will be of great interest to students and scholars in geography, environmental studies, politics, anthropology, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

1. Thinking the Commons  Ash Amin & Philip Howell

2.  The Commons and Offshore Worlds John Urry

3.  Politics in Common in the Digital Age Natalie Fenton

4. Commons Feeling in Animal Welfare and Online Libertarian Activism Adam Reed

5. The Liminal Paracommons of Future Natural Resource Efficiency Gains Bruce Lankford

6. The Right to Not be Excluded: Common Property and the Struggle to Stay Put Nick Blomley

7.  International Humanitarian Law and the Possibility of the Commons Alex Jeffrey

8. The Shrinking Commons and Uneven Geographies of Development Sarah A. Radcliffe

9. The Urban Metabolic Commons: Rights, Civil Society, and Subaltern Struggle Colin McFarlane

10. Inroads into Altruism  Marilyn Strathern

11. Revisiting a Bodily Commons: Enclosures and Openings in the Bioeconomy Maria Fannin

12. Commoning as a Postcapitalist Politics J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, Stephen Healy


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Ash Amin is Professor of Geography in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Philip Howell is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, UK.