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The Global Idea of ‘The Commons’

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Volume 10

Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis

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The Global Idea of ‘The Commons’

Edited by Donald M. Nonini

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142 pages, Pocket Size 4.25″ x 7″

ISBN  978-1-84545-485-2 25% OFF! $14.95/£10.95 $11.21/£8.21 Pb Published (September 2007)

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During the last three decades, corporations allied with scientists and universities, national and regional governments, and international financial institutions have, through a variety of mechanisms associated with neo-liberal globalization, acted to dispossess large proportions of the world’s population of their commons’ resources and enclose them for profit making. In response, throughout the global South and in the cities of the global North, large numbers of people have formed movements to defend the commons in all their variety. The idea of the commons has thus emerged as a global idea, and commons have emerged as sites of conflict around the world. The essays in this forum assess strategically the situations of selected commons in a variety of diagnostic sites where they exist, the ways in which they are being transformed by the incursions of capital and state, and the ways in which they are becoming the locus of struggle for those who depend on them to survive.

Donald M. Nonini is Professor of Anthropology and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has published numerous books, articles, and book chapters on Southeast Asian state formation, the cultural politics of Chinese transnationalism in and from Southeast Asia, and local politics in the southern United States. Recent articles include “Diasporas and Globalization” (2005) and “Indonesia Seen by Its Outside Insiders: Its Chinese Alters in Transnational Space” (2006).His latest book, co-written with Dorothy Holland et al., is Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests and Private Politics (2007).

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology


Introduction: The Global Idea of ‘the Commons’
Donald M. Nonini

Chapter 1. Collectivism, Universalism, and Struggles over Common Property Resources in the ‘New Europe’
John Pickles

Chapter 2. ‘The Commons’ in an Amazonian Context
Flora Lu

Chapter 3. The Genetic Commons: Resisting the Neo-liberal Enclosure of Life
Stephen B. Scharper and Hilary Cunningham

Chapter 4. Reflections on Intellectual Commons
Donald M. Nonini

Chapter 5. Reinventing the Appalachian Commons
Jefferson C. Boyer

Chapter 6. Conceiving the Health Commons: Operationalizing a ‘Right’ to Health
Sandy Smith-Nonini

Notes on Contributors

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