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Accepted Paper:

Reimagining modern politics in the European mountains: confronting the traditional commons with the neo-rural conception of the common good  
Ismael Vaccaro (McGill University) Camila del Mármol (Universitat de Barcelona) Oriol Beltran (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

In the Catalan Pyrenees two definitions of the commons are colliding: 1) traditional ideologies of landownership that defined common property, not based on economic equality but on private property; and 2) utopian anti-capitalism that sees in the commons an alternative mode of social organization.

Paper long abstract:

Since, at least, the 1970s, the countryside of Western Europe has been the site of a myriad of “new” communal initiatives. Rural areas that were abandoned during the last century have witnessed the arrival of new inhabitants. These newcomers are often flocking to the mountains escaping urban modes of life characterized by their individualism, mass-oriented livelihoods, and isolation. Many of these individuals are moving to areas, like the Catalan Pyrenees, where common property and communal institutions have had a preponderant historical presence. These new inhabitants, in their embracing of rural life, are looking for a more integrated social life in which the commons are not only a form of collective private property, but might also represent a more egalitarian way of life in which contributing to the collective effort is not only an efficient way of dealing with particularly harsh ecological conditions, but also an ideological statement that defines the community as something different; an alternative to urban capitalism. In these mountains two definitions of the commons are colliding, two longstanding genealogies of political thought are converging and establishing a, not always smooth, dialogue: 1) traditional ideologies of landownership that defined during centuries common property, not based on economic equality, but on private property and locally shared responsibility on the economic base of the community; and 2) utopian anti-capitalism that sees in the commons an alternative mode of social organization and ownership based on egalitarianism.

Panel P019b
The everyday politics of the commons and social movements II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -