The Role of Pseudo-Commons in Post-socialist Countries
In: B. Hudson, J. Rosenbloom, D. Cole (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons (2019). New York, Routledge, P. 345–359, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-138-06090-6 (hbk), ISBN: 978-1-315-16278-2 (ebk)
Posted: 10 Oct 2019
Date Written: January 1, 2019
In the 50 years since Garret Hardin published his “Tragedy of the Commons”, scholarship has revealed what Hardin did not recognize: that a wide range of shared agricultural resources can be sustainably managed through commons governance approaches. Yet, there are common-property regimes that only exist on paper, or set up intentionally to profit individuals. We find these pseudo-commons increasingly in post-socialist countries. Insights from irrigation and forestry show that the socialist legacy and the prevailing Soviet mentality foster pseudo-commons, with the tragic result of reinforcing social inequality and destroying trust in a kind of governance proven to be helpful to rural development. Thus, I want to explore here what the particularities of natural resource management in the history of socialist countries are that paved the way for pseudo-implementation or pseudo-collective action property regimes in contemporary post-socialist countries. Moreover, what are the risks emerging from that for future commons?
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