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Reimagining and governing the commons in an unequal world: A critical engagement

This article brings to center-stage questions of inequality within the context of contemporary theory and scholarship on the commons. We engage with the commons literature to explore how social, economic, and political inequalities affect who has access to and control over the commons. We make the following key contributions as a way to engage simultaneously and bring together different strands of the literature. One, we take stock of existing scholarship examining the commons and inequality, bringing into sharp focus the role of race, gender, caste, and class, among other dimensions of inequality. Two, we critically engage with scholarship that is pushing the boundaries of commons theory by exploring the processes of commoning or decommoning via "grabbed commons". Three, by using the lens of commoning and linking it to the historical processes of colonization and capitalist dispossessions, we seek to foster a conversation with scholars working on emancipatory claims to the commons. Based on such a synthesis, we offer a research agenda to broaden the theoretical and empirical scope of commons scholarship, especially with the goal of building stronger bridges with critical property and environmental justice scholarship.

Keywords: Commons; Ostrom; Inequality; Social justice; Environmental justice; Commoning; Urban commons

Prakash Kashwan, Praneeta Mudaliar, Sheila R. Foster, Floriane Clement,

Reimagining and governing the commons in an unequal world: A critical engagement,

Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 3, 2021,100102, ISSN 2666-0490,


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