Digital Library Of The Commons Repository


Recent Submissions

Conference Paper
Fostering African Data Commons: Embracing the Philosophy of Ubuntu
(2024) Sun, Simon; Muhadia Shabaya, Marie; Kalema, Nai Lee
The advancement of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in Africa is gaining attraction, serving as a driver for economic expansion and industrial progress across sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and education. However, the A.I. development in Africa is still in its nascent phase due to several factors, including the high cost with building data infrastructure, limited internet accessibility and a shortage of powerful computing resources essential for training A.I. models. Central to these challenges is the scarcity of access to high-quality training data, predominantly controlled by companies located outside of Africa, a phenomenon some describe as “data colonialism.” The fundamental problem arises from the proliferation of privacy-centric regulations embedded within various regulatory regimes and contractual agreements. Consent serves as the mechanism through which individuals in Africa relinquish their personal information. At its essence, data governance centers on the rights of individuals regarding their personal information, reflecting a regulatory philosophy originating in the West.
Conference Paper
The Urban as Commons: theoretical underpinnings from Latin American practices and epistemologies
(2024) Basile, Patricia
What does it mean to understand the urban as commons? What are the material and theoretical specificities of Latin American urban communities in the making and governance of such urban commons? Within Latin American cities, there is a multiplicity of local experiences that have historically constructed and managed urban space through collective practices to fight and resist various forms of dispossession and violence. The empirical and theoretical heterogeneity and richness of such experiences offer unique perspectives for the understanding and theorization of the urban as commons. In this work, I analyze three collective modalities of space-making from Brazilian cities – urban occupations, favelas, and quilombos - to understand how their practices and epistemologies produce and manage the urban as commons. Rather than an empirical case study, this work draws on existing scholarship on these modalities to unravel and theorize their practices and ways of being as one that develops and governs the urban as commons. I highlight plurality, territorialities/spatiality, temporalities, and intersectionality as critical elements and contributions to understanding the urban as commons within the analyzed modalities. Finally, I reflect on how such practices contribute to spatial governance and the making of democracy within local and broader scales.
Conference Paper
Securing the Moon: Exploring the Cybersecurity Dimensions of Sustainably Managing Lunar Resources
(2024) Shackelford, Scott; Torrens, Gustavo; Tepper, Eytan; Romano, James
Given the increasing number of public and private sector actors active in Lunar exploration, there is a growing need to ensure the sustainable and peaceful use of lunar resources including ice deposits. Such deposits are only available in certain places on the Moon’s surface such as Shackleton crater, making it a prime target for adjacent lunar bases. In future geopolitical conflicts this critical infrastructure could become a prime target, as has already been the case with both terrestrial water utilities and space-based infrastructure facing cyber attacks. This paper analyzes the applicable legal regimes governing space resources—focusing on water—and the cybersecurity of related infrastructure. With existing multilateral and multi-stakeholder forums such as the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the UN First Committee struggling to introduce new legally binding rules, space powers are filling governance gaps with non-multilateral norm building efforts such as the Artemis Accords. We investigate the applicability of these efforts to space cybersecurity, and suggest insights drawn from the literature on polycentric governance, the Ostrom Design Principles, and the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework. The article concludes with a suggestion for a code of conduct to guide space actors in the peaceful and sustainable development of lunar resources.
Conference Paper
Agroecological transitions and the political ecology of Elinor Ostrom : the role of ontologies and epistemic power in polycentric governance.
(2024) Mazé, Armelle
Agroecological transitions emerged over the last decade as a major issue into the political agenda in several European countries as a response to the loss of biodiversity and as the adoption of more resilient adaptation strategies to climate changes towards more sustainable food systems (Altieri 1995, 2005, Gliessman 2018; FAO ) . Whereas the Green Revolution after WWII was looking mainly in intensifying agricultural production and rising yields of major crops, such as wheat, rice, corn, sugar cane, in order to support food security and respond to quantitative nutritional needs of human populations (Patel, 2013). Retrospectively, this intensification of agricultural activities, through more specialized and monoculture of cropping systems is responsible for the large loss of biodiversity, as well as of many environmental degradations, such water pollution, soil erosion, etc. Concerns emerged about the declining trends and deteriorating ecological elements and their functions in productive agricultural landscapes (Francis et al. 2003). In this context, agroecology emerged as an alternative paradigm to conventional agriculture promoting on more diversified and resilient agri-food systems (Altieri, 1995; Gliessman, Francis et al. 2003; Wezel et al. 2009; Altieri et al 2015; Ollivier et al. 2018). The aim of this communication is to analyse, by proposing an extension of the IAD/SES frameworks (Ostrom (1990, 2009), to the polycentric governance of complex agroecosystems in the context of agroecological transitions. As stressed by Hess and Ostrom 2003 and Denzau and North (1993), It emphasizes the role of shared mental models and rationality involved in system thinking about the dynamics of polycentric governance (McGinnis and Ostrom 2014; Cole et al. 2019). A specific attention will be paid on the role of ontologies in setting the boundary systems and problem setting. To sustain our analysis, several case studies will be explored more precisely in relation to multi risk assesment in the context of climate change adaptation and agroecological transitions. From a classical perspective, farming activities are not considered by themselves as a shared common-pool resources (CPR), in contrast to specific natural resources, such as water, common pasture forestry, etc. that are in fact used and shared by farmers. By broadening her IAD/SES analytical framework, Ostrom (2009) offers new perspectives for the analysis of more complex social-ecological systems (SES), such as human-made agroecosystems and their related social-ecological landscapes. As stressed by Ostrom (2014) “a framework provides a shared orientation for studying, explaining, and understanding phenomena of interest” (Ostrom 2014,269). Our analysis especially emphasizes the role of ideas, artefact and infrastructure in supporting paradigm shift in knowledge regimes and the role of epistemic power in polycentric governance of agroecological transitions. Agroecological transitions are complex and multidimensional processes. Our analysis is sustained by two case studies. One related to the rise of peasant seed networks (Mazé et al. 221 a&b), and the other on recent public policies supporting the integration of sustainability dimensions in geographical indications systems (Mazé 2023).