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The commons, property, and ownership

Suggestions for further discussion

Katharina Bodirsky

The commons are an eminently anthropological topic and have been studied by anthropologists extensively in relation to natural resource management. Such studies on the “traditional commons” were concerned in particular with management of natural

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The Fiscal Commons

Tax Evasion, the State, and Commoning in a Catalonian Cooperative

Vinzenz Bäumer Escobar

on the commons and elaborate upon the concept of the ‘fiscal commons’ 2 to capture the manifold ways that people bind themselves to, and actively construct, different fiscal communities that do not fall entirely within the domain of the state. While

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Don Nonini

This article theorizes the urban commons in the case of the housing commons of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from the 1960s to the present. The making and unmaking of urban commons like housing in Amsterdam can only be understood if urban commons are

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Introduction

For or against commoning?

Ida Susser

Dedicated to the memory of Sandra Morgen (1950–2016) Photograph courtesy of Robert Hill Long We would like to dedicate this theme section on the commons to Sandra Morgen, who knew she would not live to see her article appear. Sandi fought for

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Incipient “commoning” in defense of the public?

Competing varieties of fiscal citizenship in tax- and spending-related direct democracy

Sandra Morgen and Jennifer Erickson

As the hardships and polarizing inequalities resulting from decades of neoliberal public policies have intensified, “the commons” has emerged as a powerful conceptual framework for an alternative politics that goes beyond the ideological tug

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Commoning in New York City, Barcelona, and Paris

Notes and observations from the field

Ida Susser

community activists have all participated in urban movements ( Castells 2012 ; Juris 2012 ; Nonini 2007 ; Rakopoulos 2014 ; Susser 2006 ). Since cities have become so central in the global economy, the development of urban commons is a central aspect of

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Conceiving the Health Commons

Operationalizing a 'Right' to Health

Sandy Smith-Nonini

In a perusal of literature on ‘the commons’, it is striking how rarely medicine and health services are mentioned as potential commons. Nor is the concept of the commons discussed in medical and health journals, where database searches turn up only the odd article using the term in a title or abstract. This essay evolved as an inquiry into what benefit might be gained from conceiving of a health commons.

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Benjamin Junge

Donald M. Nonini, ed., The global idea of “the commons.”New York: Berghahn Books, 2007, 138 pp., ISBN: 1-845-45485-5.

Jeffrey Juris, Networking futures: The movements against corporate globalization. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008, 400 pp., ISBN: 0822342693.

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The Genetic Commons

Resisting the Neo-liberal Enclosure of Life

Stephen B. Scharper and Hilary Cunningham

The notion of a ‘genetic commons’ is a broad-based, multi-faceted response to a particular constellation of technological, cultural, economic, political, ethical, and legal developments of the past three decades. Prompted principally by advances in biotechnology and the heretofore unprecedented patenting of life forms, the genetic commons movement seeks to critique and resist the commodification and commercialization of ‘nature’ and to establish a cosmological and political space outside of, and protected from, neo-liberal capitalist processes.

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Transformative cities

The three urban commons

Ida Susser and Stéphane Tonnelat

Drawing on Lefebvre and others, this article considers contemporary urban social movements with a selective review of urban research and suggestions for future ethnographic, cultural, and sociological questions. Under a generalized post-Fordist regime of capital accumulation, cultural workers and laborers, service workers, and community activists have all participated in urban movements. We consider such collective action, generated in the crucible of urban life, as a reflection of three urban commons: labor, consumption, and public services; public space (including mass communications and the virtual); and art, including all forms of creative expression. We suggest that the three urban commons outlined here are not necessarily perceived everywhere, but as they momentarily come together in cities around the world, they give us a glimpse of a city built on the social needs of a population. That is the point when cities become transformative.