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Understanding the Commons: The Reception of Elinor Ostrom's Work in Italian Scholarship, Law, and Jurisprudence

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Vanni, Maria Beatrice
Conference: Colloquium at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Location: Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: Spring
Date: 2014
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9364
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): legal systems
common pool resources
Abstract: "Over the last ten years, the work of Elinor Ostrom has been the object of increasing attention in the Italian legal world. However, an analysis of the instances where reference to her work appear, reveals a frequent misreading and misrepresentation of her vocabulary, her research, and her claims. The reason for this misreading and misrepresentation may be found in the existence of long-standing concurring concepts attached to the expression 'common goods,' which nevertheless does not account for the whole phenomenon. Motivated by increasing environmental issues and a strong opposition to privatization in principle, Italian scholars and policymakers have turned to Ostrom's work, but without adequate knowledge and in-depth analysis: this reflects the status of Italian culture, law and politics, trapped in a patch of short-sightedness and individualism. The effect of this confusion is the risk of dispersing the meaning and actual utility that Elinor Ostrom's work may yield for the Italian system."

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