The Commons In History: Culture, Conflict, And Ecology

Hardcover | March 7, 2014

byDerek Wall

not yet rated|write a review

The history of the commons -- jointly owned land or other resources such as fisheries or forests set aside for public use -- provides a useful context for current debates over sustainability and how we can act as "good ancestors." In this book, Derek Wall considers the commons from antiquity to the present day, as an idea, an ecological space, an economic abstraction, and a management practice. He argues that the commons should be viewed neither as a "tragedy" of mismanagement (as the biologist Garrett Hardin wrote in 1968) nor as a panacea for solving environmental problems. Instead, Walls sees the commons as a particular form of property ownership, arguing that property rights are essential to understanding sustainability. How we use the land and its resources offers insights into how we value the environment. After defining the commons and describing the arguments of Hardin's influential article and Elinor Ostrom's more recent work on the commons, Wall offers historical case studies from the United States, England, India, and Mongolia. He examines the power of cultural norms to maintain the commons; political conflicts over the commons; and how commons have protected, or failed to protect ecosystems. Combining intellectual and material histories with an eye on contemporary debates, Wall offers an applied history that will interest academics, activists, and policy makers.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$37.95

In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
HURRY, ONLY 1 LEFT!

From the Publisher

The history of the commons -- jointly owned land or other resources such as fisheries or forests set aside for public use -- provides a useful context for current debates over sustainability and how we can act as "good ancestors." In this book, Derek Wall considers the commons from antiquity to the present day, as an idea, an ecologica...

Derek Wall, an English politician and member of the Green Party of England and Wales, is Associate Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Among his books are The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics and The Rise of the Green Left.

other books by Derek Wall

No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics
No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics

Kobo ebook|Sep 1 2010

$7.69 online$9.95list price(save 22%)
Earth First! and the Anti-Roads Movement
Earth First! and the Anti-Roads Movement

Kobo ebook|Mar 11 2002

$104.92

see all books by Derek Wall
Format:HardcoverDimensions:184 pages, 8 × 5.38 × 0.44 inPublished:March 7, 2014Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262027216

ISBN - 13:9780262027212

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Commons In History: Culture, Conflict, And Ecology

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

This is a terrific book. The first book in MIT Press's History for a Sustainable Future Series and written by English Green Party politician Derek Wall, the Commons in History is aimed less at scholars, I expect, than at a general audience of people who want to change the world by embracing common and collective forms of property.