The Commons: A Force in the Ecological Transition to a Postcapitalist Society

Año: 2024


César Rendueles

Publicado en: Routledge

ISBN / ISSN: 978-1-032-38599-0


This book provides a lucid, rigorous, and critical account of the commons, its history and its political potentialities as well as its limitations and ambiguities. In particular, The Commons analyses the relations of solidarity and conflict between the commons and public welfare policies, as well as the role the commons can play in the struggle against the global socioecological crisis that is threatening the very future of humanity.

Over the past decade, various theories, concepts and political projects connected to the commons have become fundamentally important for social science and numerous social movements around the world. In sociology, economics, political science, history, geography, the law and anthropology, the study of the commons has inspired many important academic innovations. In parallel, community activists, labour unions, ecologists, feminists and cooperativists have discovered in the commons a powerful and thought-provoking toolkit with which to defend public services, guarantee access to cultural goods, organize reproductive and care work, and more generally, fight against commodification and ecological destruction. The first two chapters analyse the dual origin of the academic rediscovery of the commons. On one side, from the realm of political science and economics, the concept of the commons has been used to challenge the dominant paradigms founded on rational choice theory. On the other, from the fields of history, law and anthropology, analysis of the violent destruction of the commons has served to deepen our understanding of the coercive and antidemocratic processes that form the bedrock of capitalism and our current plight. The third and fourth chapters examine the role that the commons can play in emancipatory political projects aiming to deepen democracy in mass industrial societies.

As such, The Commons will appeal to scholars across the social sciences and academics with interests in social and political theory, the environment and sustainability, and political sociology.