The rhizomatic expansion of commoning through social movements

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Abstract

Commons and commoning have become points of departure for the development of new radical literatures that seek to enhance societal transformations. Hence, the issue of their expansion has often been framed in opposition to the expansion of capital and thus acquires a highly symbolic and political value. Nevertheless, these recent theoretical endeavors often hold a quite normative stance, as they actually explore the issue of how the commons should expand rather than of how they actually do it. In addition, while social movements are often being seen as favorable conditions for the development of the new commons, there is a lack of empirically-based studies that try to analyze the relationship between these two poles of societal transformation. This paper tries to develop an analytical theoretical framework for explaining how commons expand and multiply within crisis and how this expansion does relate to social movements. The analysis draws on thinkers such as Ostrom, Stavridis, De Angelis, Hardt & Negri, and Harvey. Despite its theoretical focus, the paper is informed by a systematic collection of empirical evidence from Greece; a country that has witnessed both the emergence of enduring social movements and an exponential growth of commoning projects during the last decade.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106596
JournalEcological Economics
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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