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Temas y Debates

versión On-line ISSN 1853-984X


SAIDEL, Matías L.. Revisiting the tragedy of the commons: from formal theory to the historical forms of dispossession. Temas debates (En línea) [online]. 2017, n.33, pp.163-184. ISSN 1853-984X.

In this paper we will comment on the notion of tragedy of the commons as developed by Hardin, according to which common goods are doomed to over-appropriation and depletion by rational and self-interested individuals. Then, we will delve on the refutation of Hardin’s theory in its own terms by Feeny, Ostrom and others, and we will explore some of the ways to understand todays’ commons, beyond the framework of rational choice in which they were considered at the beginning. Later, we will take the idea of tragedy from formal theory to another one that takes into account relations of domination that made possible the privatization of the commons, revisiting the notion of primitive accumulation. To conclude, we will maintain that the common must be understood as a principle of political action that carries norms and responsibilities alien to those of neoliberal capitalism, under which rule the planet runs towards an ecological, economic and civilizational catastrophe.

Palabras clave : Tragedy of the commons; Common goods; Accumulation by dispossession; Commons; Neoliberalism.

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