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Governing with the Commons: The Commons Systems' Potential as an Experimental Local Public Sphere and its Implication to Deliberative Democracy

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kim, Onnuri
Conference: Commoners and the Changing Commons: Livelihoods, Environmental Security, and Shared Knowledge, the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Mt. Fuji, Japan
Conf. Date: June 3-7
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8922
Sector: Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): complex systems
adaptive systems
Abstract: "This paper discusses the potential of the commons or Common-Pool Resource (CPR) systems as the experimental local public sphere and its implication to deliberative democracy. Specific focus is placed on the contemporary commons systems conceptualized as the commons 2.0 systems. The paper argues that the commons 2.0 systems can strengthen social learning through localized deliberation and collaborative experiments as the experimental local public sphere. Deliberation and experimental collective actions in the collaborative framework of the commons 2.0s enable social learning of greater extent including double-loop and triple-loop learning through reflective and experimental collaborative engagements. Enhanced through the experimental local public sphere, social learning contributes to the evolution of local institutions and capacity critical for collaborative self-governance. From the perspective of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), decentralized deliberation and collaborative experiments result in local optimalization through constant evolutionary self- adaptation. For deliberative democracy, this suggests a new perspective focusing on localized deliberation sphere of the self-governing commons systems in which reflexive and experimental engagements enhance social learning at local level. In deliberative democracy, such social learning facilitated through participatory social interactions is of critical importance as it contributes to collaborative capacity and reciprocal communicative reasoning - the essential precondition of deliberative democracy. In this sense, the commons 2.0 systems can be utilized as the community level capability building system through localized deliberation and collective experiments for collaborative governance strengthening the prospect of deliberative democracy. The role of the commons 2.0 systems in enhancing social learning as the experimental local public sphere is further illustrated through the case of the Seongmi Mountain community in Seoul, Korea."

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