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Old Voices for New Commons

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: McKean, Margaret A.
Conference: Voices from the Commons, the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Berkeley, California
Conf. Date: June 6-9, 1996
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1632
Sector: Theory
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
new commons
common pool resources
Abstract: "John Bruce said the other day that it is very hard to find an example in the countries that have recently legalized communal rights in which courts actually uphold these rights when they are challenged. But here are two among countless examples from Tokugawa, Japan. Indeed, it is quite striking that the Tokugawa regime -- which disapproved of rural rebellion and treated rioters with swift punishment (frequently execution) -- never treated parties to a common property dispute as rioters. Most of the people at this meeting are concerned about the desperate environmental resource problems faced by living people. That is probably an appropriate emphasis. But a few of us, I've noticed, are interested in dead people. We study long-established long-enduring commons in once-developing but now-developed countries. What I hope to do tonight is make the case that dead people can teach us a few design tricks for creating new commons."

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