The Commons

Historically, the commons refers to resources, both natural and cultural, that can be accessed by all members of society for individual and collective benefit. These resources are held in common and not privately owned. Traditionally this term related to resources such as water, food, forests and fisheries. Today, however, this term is also applied in a broader sense to concepts of cultural, intellectual and knowledge commons.

The study of the commons has expanded dramatically since Garrett Hardin’s The Tragedy of the Commons (1968) popularized the dilemma faced by users of common pool resources. However, many debates still rage about how to govern the commons in a fair and equitable manner. This collection of titles provides a broad and varied examination of this issue, presenting interdisciplinary findings to help facilitate a more complete understanding of the difficulties faced by commons resource users and managers.

New Releases

Routledge Handbook of Food as a Commons

1st Edition

Edited by Jose Luis Vivero-Pol, Tomaso Ferrando, Olivier De Schutter, Ugo Mattei

The book sparks the debate on food as a commons between and within disciplines, with particular attention to spaces of resistance (food sovereignty, de-growth, open knowledge, transition town, occupations, bottom-up social innovations) and organizational scales (local food, national policies, South–South collaborations, international governance and multi-national agreements). Overall, it shows the consequences of a shift to the alternative paradigm of food as a commons in terms of food, the planet and living beings.

Format – 2018-12-21 
Routledge (Handbook/Environment & Sustainability)

Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons

1st Edition

Edited by Blake Hudson, Jonathan Rosenbloom, Dan Cole

This comprehensive Handbook serves as a unique synthesis and resource for understanding how analytical frameworks developed within the literature assist in understanding the nature and management of commons resources. Such frameworks include those related to Institutional Analysis and Development, Social-Ecological Systems, and Polycentricity, among others. The book aggregates and analyses these frameworks to lay a foundation for exploring how they apply according to scholars across a wide range of disciplines.

Format – 2019-01-16 
Routledge (Handbook/Environment & Sustainability)

Recently Published

  • Redesigning the Global Seed Commons

    Law and Policy for Agrobiodiversity and Food Security, 1st Edition

    By Christine Frison

    There is much current controversy over whether the rights to seeds or plant genetic resources should be owned by the private sector or be common property. This book addresses the legal and policy aspects of the multilateral seed management regime. First, it studies in detail the International…

    Hardback – 2018-11-16
    Routledge
    Earthscan Food and Agriculture

  • The Common Good and Ecological Integrity

    Human Rights and the Support of Life, 1st Edition

    Edited by Laura Westra, Janice Gray, Antonio D'Aloia

    Proponents of the concept of ecological integrity argue that it is a necessary component of global governance on which the sustainable future of the planet and its inhabitants depends. This book presents the latest research and current thinking on the role of ecological integrity in…

    Paperback – 2018-08-14
    Routledge

  • Food Systems Governance

    Challenges for justice, equality and human rights, 1st Edition

    Edited by Amanda Kennedy, Jonathan Liljeblad

    Sustainability and food production represent a major challenge to society, with both consumption and supply sides posing practical and ethical dilemmas. This book shows that food governance issues can occur in many ways and at many points along the food chain. The risks and impacts, particularly…

    Paperback – 2018-06-08
    Routledge
    Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environment

  • Pastoralism and Common Pool Resources

    Rangeland co-management, property rights and access in Mongolia, 1st Edition

    By Sandagsuren Undargaa

    The grazing of animals on common land and associated property rights were the original basis of the concept of "the tragedy of the commons". Drawing on the classic work of Elinor Ostrom and the readings of political ecology, this book questions the application of exclusive property rights to mobile…

    Paperback – 2018-04-10
    Routledge

  • The Commons, Plant Breeding and Agricultural Research

    Challenges for Food Security and Agrobiodiversity, 1st Edition

    Edited by Fabien Girard, Christine Frison

    The joint challenges of population increase, food security and conservation of agrobiodiversity demand a rethink of plant breeding and agricultural research from a different perspective. While more food is undeniably needed, the key question is rather about how to produce it in a way…

    Hardback – 2018-03-19
    Routledge
    Earthscan Food and Agriculture

  • Global Resource Scarcity

    Catalyst for Conflict or Cooperation?, 1st Edition

    Edited by Marcelle C. Dawson, Christopher Rosin, Nave Wald

    A common perception of global resource scarcity holds that it is inevitably a catalyst for conflict among nations; yet, paradoxically, incidents of such scarcity underlie some of the most important examples of international cooperation. This volume examines the wider potential for the experience of…

    Hardback – 2017-11-02
    Routledge
    Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management

  • Constitutions and the Commons

    The Impact of Federal Governance on Local, National, and Global Resource Management, 1st Edition

    By Blake Hudson

    Constitutions and the Commons looks at a critical but little examined issue of the degree to which the federal constitution of a nation contributes toward or limits the ability of the national government to manage its domestic natural resources. Furthermore it considers how far the constitution…

    Paperback – 2017-10-12
    RFF Press

  • Governing the Coastal Commons

    Communities, Resilience and Transformation, 1st Edition

    Edited by Derek Armitage, Anthony Charles, Fikret Berkes

    Coastal communities depend on the marine environment for their livelihoods, but the common property nature of marine resources poses major challenges for the governance of such resources. Through detailed cases and consideration of broader global trends, this volume examines how coastal communities…

    Paperback – 2017-05-02
    Routledge
    Earthscan Oceans

Environment & Sustainability

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