New Challenges for Old Commons: The Implications of Rural Change for Crofting Common Grazings

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Date

2003

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Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Abstract

"This paper concerns the way in which 'old' common property institutions cope with and respond to 'new' challenges posed by post-productivist rural change. Common property regimes were once widespread throughout much of the Western European landscape but the prevailing trend over the last few centuries has been towards their demise. The interrelated pressures of population growth, commercialisation, industrialisation, successive rounds of enclosure legislation, and an academic and cultural privileging of individual forms of property, have all conspired to effect the extinguishment and erosion of communal resource rights (North & Thomas, 1973; Dahlman, 1980; De Moor et al. 2002). Nevertheless, a number of these 'old commons' have survived to the present day in countries such as Norway, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland."

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Keywords

grazing, rural affairs, common pool resources, property rights, new institutionalism

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