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Commons analytical frameworks and case studies

Authored by: Blake Hudson , Jonathan Rosenbloom , Dan Cole

Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138060906
eBook ISBN: 9781315162782
Adobe ISBN:


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The term “commons” has come to mean many things to many people and is used inconsistently within the literature. Understanding what constitutes commons resources and their use has become even more challenging in light of the expanded application of commons study. Although the dilemmas associated with commons resource management had been raised in academic scholarship far earlier, Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons (1968) popularized the management difficulties faced by users of common pool resources (or CPRs). Since 1968 commons scholarship has expanded dramatically, both in depth of theoretical analysis and breadth of subject matter covered. Further, a number of regimes have been utilized to manage CPRs, including common-property regimes, government regulation, and private property. Expansion of commons scholarship coupled with the existence of multiple definitions and perspectives on what constitutes a “commons” make studying CPRs and their management both a theoretical and analytical challenge.

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