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Common Property and the Just Distribution of Power

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Al Salman, Yara
Conference: In Defense of the Commons: Challenges, Innovation and Action, the Seventeenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Lima, Peru
Conf. Date: July 1-5
Date: 2019
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10623
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): commons
Abstract: "In this paper, I argue that there are also intrinsic reasons to value the distribution of power involved in a common property regime. That is, I claim that when users govern a resource themselves, and do so on terms of equality, this is not just valuable because it leads to good outcomes. The value of this distribution of power is also intrinsic, meaning that it is partially independent of the outcomes it generates. To make this claim, I will draw on political philosophical debates on the value of democracy. Philosophers debate whether we can account for that value instrumentally or whether the equal distribution of power in a democracy is intrinsically valuable as well. This paper will take a stance on that debate, and argue that any distribution of power needs to be judged on both its intrinsic and its instrumental merits. This is also the case, then, for common property regimes."

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