The Commons in History: Culture, Conflict, and Ecology (History for a Sustainable Future)
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The Commons in History: Culture, Conflict, and Ecology (History for a Sustainable Future)

Culture, Conflict, and Ecology
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Derek (University of London) Wall
308 g

Derek Wall, an English politician and member of the Green Party of England and Wales, is Associate Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Among his books are The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics and The Rise of the Green Left.
An argument that the commons is neither tragedy nor paradise but can be a way to understand environmental sustainability.
The major contests of our times--intellectually, materially, politically, economically, ecologically--are the new enclosures of the commons. Commons are being privatized and turned into commodities. Biodiversity and traditional knowledge are being enclosed through patents, water commons are being enclosed through privatization, ecosystem functions are being enclosed through financialization. Recovery of the commons is at the heart of creation of earth democracy and the creation of living economies in times of economic collapse. Sustainability and survival rest on the human capacity to defend and reclaim the commons. Derek Wall's The Commons in History is an important contribution to the recovery of the commons and the creation of the future based on sustainability and justice. -- Vandana Shiva, author of Earth Democracy and coauthor of The Enclosure and Recovery of the Commons The commons paradigm challenges economic orthodoxies while traversing diverse cultures and disciplines. No wonder it is so frequently misunderstood! Derek Wall's richly layered history of the commons is a welcome antidote. It provides a fresh, accessible synthesis that is useful to activists and academics alike. -- David Bollier, author of Think Like a Commoner and cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group In The Commons in History, Derek Wall creatively investigates the commons as a historical place, a theoretical concept, and a practical tool for resource management. By deploying history, Wall deftly grounds the commons in concrete ways, a signal contribution for a topic too often considered ahistorically. As such, readers in multiple fields with myriad interests will be forced to reconsider how the commons might contribute to sustainable practices and will need to reckon with history's lessons before moving forward. -- Adam M. Sowards, Associate Professor of History, University of Idaho

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