GEJ quarterly

Finding Common Ground - New Edition of the Green European Journal Released!

An investigation into the commons reveals the wide-ranging spectrum of definitions and applications of this concept that exist across Europe. Yet from the numerous local initiatives, social movements, and governance models associated with this term – is it possible to identify the outline of a commons-based approach that could form the basis of a broad cross-societal response to the failures of the current system?

Applied in contexts ranging from urban public spaces to agriculture, from natural ecosystems to the virtual world, the immense diversity of meanings ascribed to the commons testifies to the rich and multifaceted significance this concept has acquired, and defies a fixed definition and rigid framework. Today, the term has been deployed to refer to tangible common goods such as rivers and seeds, as well as to forms of social organisation and management of these resources, such as cooperatives or public spaces that are communally owned and maintained. It has also come to encompass new governance regimes and decision-making models, constituting novel hybrid structures and procedures that demonstrate that a strict division between private and public sectors is outdated.

 

The emergence and proliferation of citizen-led initiatives for the management of resources point to failures of both the market and the state to adequately manage these resources and spaces in a fair and inclusive manner. This is why Greens in Europe must not only keep a keen eye on these developments but also be actively involved in this resurgence of commons initiatives, to grasp the underlying political lessons for 21st century politics that the commons can teach, but also in light of the significant convergence between political ecology and the underlying values, principles and norms that are bound up with these initiatives.

 

Certain articles in this edition are available in French, Spanish, Polish, and Croatian. 

You can download the full pdf of the edition below, or visit the Green European Journal website to browse these and other articles.

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