Accepted paper:

The political in the commons. Confrontations with alternative (micro)politics of everyday life


Panagiota Bampatzimopoulou (Aristotle University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focus on the politics of the commons through gender lens. Moreover, I will present four initiatives in Thessaloniki that defend health, education, labor and sports. My main aim is to stimulate further discussion concerning the tools I chose in order to conduct my qualitative research.

Paper long abstract:

This paper aspires not only to delve into the politics of the commons but also to make the category of gender a central one in this emerging politics. To begin, I shall outline the politics of the commons as an alternative way of viewing and constructing our social reality. Through emphasizing the self-organization of the populations and the creation of communities, both the political and the politics are being re-examined, in order to be reconstituted in new contexts. Broadly defined, the commons refer to all those necessary for our social reproduction resources. But the commons only come to the fore when struggling communities are trying to preserve and enlarge them. So, the next chapter deals with the description of four communities in Thessaloniki-Greece that defend health, labor, education and sports. The commons could also be conceived of as an administrative system, a space within which subjects and groups are related, struggles emerge and a new ethical frame to defend and reproduce this system is being articulated. In this context, I shall emphasize the need to put an extra category in our analysis this of gender, that way I shall concentrate on the subject of the commoning. Finally, I shall go on to consider the chosen tools in my qualitative research in commons' communities. What are the main obstacles for a research like this? How difficult is to conduct an in-depth research in the field of the commons when you are a political theorist and not a social anthropologist?

panel P139
Alter-politics, commons and ethnographies for another world