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Traditions and Trends in the Study of the Commons

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Type: Journal Article
Author: van Laerhoven, Frank; Ostrom, Elinor
Journal: International Journal of the Commons
Volume: 1
Date: 2007
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3137
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): common pool resources
property rights
Abstract: "Prior to the publication of Hardin's article on the tragedy of the commons (1968), titles containing the words 'the commons,' 'common pool resources,' or 'common property' were very rare in the academic literature. However, between 1968 and 1985, when the Annapolis conference was held, this number seemed to be on the rise (Dietz et al. 2002, pp. 6-7). With an admittedly more powerful search capacity at our disposal, we will first explore in this article how the research community with an interest in 'the commons' has increased and diversified since 1985. Then we will explain the rational underlying the selection criteria we applied when editing this issue. We think it is important to take stock and look ahead, regularly. Also, we think it is essential to explore diverse methodological and theoretical approaches. Regarding the future, we think that scholars must embrace the challenge of finding ways to deal more explicitly with complexity, uncertainty, and institutional dynamics. We will subsequently provide an overview of the featured articles. We will then wrap up with a short concluding section."

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