I latterly bought right here all through what seems to me a extraordinarily needed article, John Wagner's "Water and the Commons Imaginary", printed in 2012 in Current Anthropology (along with a group of responses by totally different social scientists of the commons, along with Elinor Ostrom, in what ought to have been one in every of her last writings). The abstract truly doesn't do justice to the article's central argument, so I'll carry some excerpts proper right here (citations omitted):

The time interval “commons” has been appropriated over newest a very long time by folks, companies, and curiosity groups trying to find to be taught from the constructive emotional responses that the time interval seems to evoke. In some circumstances—shopping for commons, as an illustration—use of the time interval appears to be primarily a promoting and advertising and marketing approach, nonetheless in numerous circumstances the time interval carries a selected political argument, most typically 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 characterize a extremely completely totally different type of imagined neighborhood than a nation-state, nonetheless lots of Anderson’s analysis is related nonetheless…. 

The commons imaginary can… be understood as a response to… fundamental changes 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 world environmental and monetary crises. The commons imaginary, similar to the nation-state, might be dependent for its constructing on print and digital media. The most recent proliferation of utilizing the time interval “commons”… clearly attests to the way in which whereby it is being constructed.

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