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Perspective

Evolutionary Perspectives on the Commons: A Model of Commonisation and Decommonisation

1
School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
2
Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kristof Van Assche and Monica Gruezmacher Rosas
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4300; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074300
Received: 23 February 2022 / Revised: 29 March 2022 / Accepted: 1 April 2022 / Published: 5 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Policy and Governance: Evolutionary Perspectives)
Commons (or common-pool resources) are inherently dynamic. Factors that appear to contribute to the evolution of a stable commons regime at one time and place may undergo change that results in the collapse of the commons at another. The factors involved can be very diverse. Economic, social, environmental and political conditions and various drivers may lead to commonisation, a process through which a resource is converted into a joint-use regime under commons institutions and collective action. Conversely, they may lead to decommonisation, a process through which a commons loses these essential characteristics. Evolution through commonisation may be manifested as adaptation or fine-tuning over time. They may instead result in the replacement of one kind of property rights regime by another, as in the enclosure movement in English history that resulted in the conversion of sheep grazing commons into privatized agricultural land. These processes of change can be viewed from an evolutionary perspective using the concepts of commonisation and decommonisation, and theorized as a two-way process over time, with implications for the sustainability of joint resources from local to global. View Full-Text
Keywords: commons; commonisation; decommonisation; evolutionary perspective; excludability; subtractability commons; commonisation; decommonisation; evolutionary perspective; excludability; subtractability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nayak, P.K.; Berkes, F. Evolutionary Perspectives on the Commons: A Model of Commonisation and Decommonisation. Sustainability 2022, 14, 4300. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074300

AMA Style

Nayak PK, Berkes F. Evolutionary Perspectives on the Commons: A Model of Commonisation and Decommonisation. Sustainability. 2022; 14(7):4300. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074300

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nayak, Prateep Kumar, and Fikret Berkes. 2022. "Evolutionary Perspectives on the Commons: A Model of Commonisation and Decommonisation" Sustainability 14, no. 7: 4300. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074300

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