Governing Markets as Knowledge Commons: Introduction

25 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2018 Last revised: 1 Mar 2019

See all articles by Erwin Dekker

Erwin Dekker

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Pavel Kuchař

University of Bristol

Date Written: March 22, 2018


This is a preliminary draft of an introductory chapter to an edited volume titled Governing Markets as Knowledge Commons: The New Entrepreneurial History of Shared Social Infrastructures. We lay down a theoretical framework for the analysis of the production, reproduction, and transformation of intellectual and legal infrastructures that enable market interactions using the Governing Knowledge Commons research program. A distinctive contribution of this volume is conceptualizing these market-supporting knowledge structures as shared goods. There are four building blocks around which the edited volume revolves: First, markets are cultural, they depend on various kinds of knowledge some of which are governed as commons; markets coincide with a form of culture that we call civilization. Secondly, civilization relies on shared goods which are – unlike physical commons – produced and reproduced by contributions and sharing. The more one uses a shared good, the more there is of it. Thirdly, the knowledge that constitutes our civilization includes various kinds of intellectual and legal infrastructures. These infrastructures are a part of a capital structure: they are economic inputs. Finally, entrepreneurs sustain and marginally change the shared intellectual and legal infrastructures by abiding by them as well as through slight evasions, and justifications.

Keywords: Shared goods, institutions, conventions, knowledge commons, markets, entrepreneurship, intellectual infrastructures

JEL Classification: D02, O43, K1, L2, N80

Suggested Citation

Dekker, Erwin and Kuchař, Pavel, Governing Markets as Knowledge Commons: Introduction (March 22, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Erwin Dekker

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA

Pavel Kuchař (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom

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