I not too way back bought right here all through what seems to me a extraordinarily important article, John Wagner's "Water and the Commons Imaginary", printed in 2012 in Current Anthropology (along with a group of responses by completely different social scientists of the commons, along with Elinor Ostrom, in what ought to have been one amongst her ultimate writings). The abstract really doesn't do justice to the article's central argument, so I'll convey some excerpts proper right here (citations omitted):

The time interval “commons” has been appropriated over present a very long time by individuals, corporations, and curiosity groups in the hunt for to revenue from the constructive emotional responses that the time interval seems to evoke. In some cases—shopping for commons, as an illustration—use of the time interval appears to be primarily a promoting approach, nevertheless in numerous cases the time interval carries a selected political argument, most generally an argument in the direction of commodification, privatization, or enclosure and in favor of egalitarian, grassroots approaches to helpful useful resource administration. It is at this degree clear break occurs between commons as a particular type of institutional affiliation and commons-as-social-imaginary.

In making use of the time interval “social imaginary” to the commons, I rely significantly on the work of Benedict Anderson on imagined communities and of Appadurai on creativeness and globalization. Commons symbolize a very completely completely different type of imagined neighborhood than a nation-state, nevertheless a whole lot of Anderson’s analysis is related nonetheless…. 

The commons imaginary can… be understood as a response to… elementary modifications in our social, monetary, and political lives, notably these associated to monetary globalization, the accelerated tempo of erasure of place-based communities and social identities, and worldwide environmental and monetary crises. The commons imaginary, similar to the nation-state, may also be dependent for its constructing on print and digital media. The present proliferation of the utilization of the time interval “commons”… clearly attests to the model by which it is being constructed.

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