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Social Movements as Agencies for Collective Action: Redefining Urban Commons in South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Mandizadza, Shingirai en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:36:36Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:36:36Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2008-10-24 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2008-10-24 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1411
dc.description.abstract "This paper seeks to situate a debate about the prospects of the environmental justice movement to redefine the urban commons and investigate the prospects for collective action in South Africa. Common property resource literature is clear about the rights of individuals on private and public lands. Yet situating the environmental justice movement means negotiating and redefining the rights and privileges of private ownership. I will argue in this paper that in the environmental justice discourse, private land maybe more like common property in more ways than is usually recognised. Indeed these contestations require that there is a redefinition of rights of use on private land in order to take care of the 'common good'. Social justice movements require that those aspects of land use that affect the community's quality of life and shared environment be managed as common property. I will use cases from South Africa to look at the 'carving' out of new urban commons in South Africa. This will be reviewed drawing from common property literature that point to the important aspects of defining 'successful commons' and successful collective action for commons management. According to Ostrom (1990) a successful common is defined by the extent to which a system is facing significant environmental uncertainty and there is a social stability in the group of users. While there may be doubts to the existence of a single, coherent environmental movement mobilizing under the comprehensive banner of environmental justice in South Africa, there is evidence that there is an expansion of space for collective action. Evidence shows an environmental awareness awakening in civil society particularly amongst those most affected by threats to the urban commons. There is evidence that the carving out of the urban commons may also yet present opportunities for the redefinition of private rights which will affect management institutions in South Africa." en_US
dc.subject collective action en_US
dc.subject urban affairs en_US
dc.subject social movements en_US
dc.title Social Movements as Agencies for Collective Action: Redefining Urban Commons in South Africa en_US
dc.type Conference Paper en_US
dc.coverage.region Africa en_US
dc.coverage.country South Africa en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.subject.sector Urban Commons en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth July en_US
dc.identifier.citationconference Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdates July 14-18, 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfloc Cheltenham, England en_US
dc.submitter.email elsa_jin@yahoo.com en_US

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