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Toward a Political Economy of the Commons

Hardback

Toward a Political Economy of the Commons

Simple Rules for Sustainability

9781800374317 Edward Elgar Publishing
Meina Cai, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut, Ilia Murtazashvili, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, Associate Professor of International Affairs, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, US, Raufhon Salahodjaev, Tashkent State University of Economics, Uzbekistan
Publication Date: January 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80037 431 7 Extent: c 192 pp
Since Garrett Hardin published The Tragedy of the Commons in 1968, critics have argued that population growth and capitalism contribute to overuse of natural resources and degradation of the global environment. They propose coercive, state-centric solutions. This book offers an alternative view. Employing insights from New Institutional Economics, the authors argue that property rights, competitive markets, polycentric political institutions, and social institutions such as trust, patience, and individualism enable society to conserve natural resources and mitigate harms to the global environment.

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Contents
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Since Garrett Hardin published The Tragedy of the Commons in 1968, critics have argued that population growth and capitalism contribute to overuse of natural resources and degradation of the global environment. They propose coercive, state-centric solutions. This book offers an alternative view. Employing insights from New Institutional Economics, the authors argue that property rights, competitive markets, polycentric political institutions, and social institutions such as trust, patience, and individualism enable society to conserve natural resources and mitigate harms to the global environment.

The authors support their argument by considering several types of commons: forests, fisheries, minerals, and the global environment. The central lesson of these empirical studies is that following a simple set of rules – definition and enforcement of property rights in response to local conditions, creating and maintaining democracy at the local level, and establishing markets to allocate resources – improves ecological and environmental sustainability.

This book will appeal to scholars of natural resources, economics, political science, and public policy as well as policymakers who are interested in environmental governance and the ways markets contribute to sustainability.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book is a unique and masterful attempt to combine an introduction to the problem of the commons with a critical analysis of some of the most relevant and interesting aspects related to their nature, variety of forms, and governance arrangements. The book is made even more remarkable by the fact that, in the analysis, it engages into an exemplary methodical use of the institutional theory and political economy apparatus, within an interdisciplinary setting.’
– Paul Dragos Aligica, University of Bucharest, Romania and George Mason University, US

‘This is a superb account of why discussions about sustainability, cannot be divorced from an understanding of how alternative institutional arrangements condition the knowledge individuals and communities have about environmental dilemmas and their incentives to address them. Too often, debates about “commons problems” are clouded by analytical confusions and ideological blinders. While this book's authors have a point of view their analysis does much to clear the confusion and to allow the sunlight of political economy to shine through.’
– Mark Pennington, King's College London, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. The puzzle of the commons 2. The political economy of the commons 3. Governing forests 4. Governing fisheries 5. Governing minerals 6. Governing the global environment 7. Simple rules to manage the commons References Index
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