International Journal of the Commons

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URL = https://www.thecommonsjournal.org/

About the International Journal of the Commons

"... an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed open-access journal dedicated to further our understanding of institutions for use and management of resources that are (or could be) enjoyed collectively.

These resources may be part of the natural world (e.g. forests, climate systems, or the oceans) or they may be created (e.g. infrastructures such as irrigation systems, the internet or (scientific) knowledge, for example of the sort that is published in open-access journals).

The IJC is an initiative of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)."

Some Articles of Interest

  1. Vol 4, No 1 (2010) Special issue: Innovating through commons use: community-based enterprises
    1. Innovating through commons use: community-based enterprises
      1. Intro: Community-based enterprises are of interest to commons researchers because they offer a means to study how local institutions respond to opportunities, develop networks, new skills and knowledge, and evolve. Nevertheless, the relationship between commons and community-based enterprises has received little attention, with a few exceptions (Bray et al. 2005; Berkes and Davidson-Hunt 2007).
    2. Community-based enterprises and the commons: The case of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Mexico
      1. Abstract: Commons scholarship has tended to focus on the administration and use of commons by individuals and households and less so on collective enterprises that extract, transform and market what they harvest from the commons. In this paper, we consider Nuevo San Juan, a Mexican case that is well known in the community forestry and commons literature. In San Juan, indigenous community members who hold the rights for the commons are also the members of the enterprise that transforms and markets goods from the commons. We argue that such a strategy is one way to confront internal and external pressures on a commons.
      2. We draw upon the transcripts of 40 interviews undertaken during 2006 which are analyzed using a framework developed from the social, community-based and indigenous enterprise literature. Our goal was to utilize this framework to analyze the San Juan Forest Enterprise and understand its emergence and formation as a long-standing community-based enterprise that intersects with a commons, and thereby identify factors that increase chances of success for community enterprises. We found that by starting from the community-based and indigenous enterprise literature and using that literature to engage with thinking on commons, it was possible to consider the enterprise from the perspective of a regulatory framework rather than from the poles of dependency and modernization theories in which much commons work has been based.
      3. Enterprise and commons intersect when both are guided by core cultural values and the enterprise can become a new site for the creation of social and cultural cohesion. We also found that there were a number of necessary conditions for commons-based community-enterprises to retain internal and external legitimacy, namely: (1) leadership representative of the broad social mission rooted in the customary institutions, values and norms of the community; (2) accountability of enterprise leaders to the memberships they represent; and (3) a close adherence to the political goals of the community as a whole.
    3. Placing the commons at the heart of community development: three case studies of community enterprise in Caribbean Islands
      1. Abstract: This paper examines experiences in developing, supporting and sustaining community-based enterprises that are based on the use of forest, coastal and marine resources in the insular Caribbean, with a focus on the eastern Caribbean, and draws lessons from that experience. The three cases reviewed include community-based enterprises involved in forest conservation, turtle protection, tour guiding and fisheries. Other experiences are also used to inform the lessons and conclusions of the paper. The paper first identifies some of the cultural, social or economic factors that have favoured or hindered the development of these enterprises, highlighting the conditions that are specific to Caribbean societies, where the majority of the people have throughout history been denied access to valuable natural resources, where production is largely driven by external markets, and where there is not a long tradition of community natural resource management. It then examines the extent to which the economic success of individual business ventures contributes to or hinders the achievement of the broader community social, political, cultural and environmental goals. On the basis of these analyses, the paper proposes a number of enabling conditions that may be required, in the context of the insular Caribbean, for these initiatives to flourish. Keywords: Caribbean, commons, community-based enterprises, tourism, forests, turtles, fisheries
    4. Placing the commons at the heart of community development: Three case studies of community enterprise in Caribbean islands
      1. Abstract: This paper examines experiences in developing, supporting and sustaining community-based enterprises that are based on the use of forest, coastal and marine resources in the insular Caribbean, with a focus on the eastern Caribbean, and draws lessons from that experience. The three cases reviewed include community-based enterprises involved in forest conservation, turtle protection, tour guiding and fisheries. Other experiences are also used to inform the lessons and conclusions of the paper. The paper first identifies some of the cultural, social or economic factors that have favoured or hindered the development of these enterprises, highlighting the conditions that are specific to Caribbean societies, where the majority of the people have throughout history been denied access to valuable natural resources, where production is largely driven by external markets, and where there is not a long tradition of community natural resource management. It then examines the extent to which the economic success of individual business ventures contributes to or hinders the achievement of the broader community social, political, cultural and environmental goals. On the basis of these analyses, the paper proposes a number of enabling conditions that may be required, in the context of the insular Caribbean, for these initiatives to flourish.

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