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Accepted Contribution:

Plans vs. Design, State vs. Commons: Participatory Action Research methodologies in the reclamation of public revenues for transformative regional development  
Betsy Taylor (Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN))

Contribution short abstract:

Commons stewardship is grounded in local civic and ecological relations and knowledges. But, threats and needed resources flow from regional, national, and global scales. How can collaborative research methods scale up local access to State-based public revenues, discourses, and legal protections?

Contribution long abstract:

This presentation explores what Ikarian commoning can teach movements for just transition from coal in Central Appalachia in the U.S. Our link-tank, LiKEN, works with wide webs of partnerships among diverse transition movements, community groups, and scholars across Appalachia. On one hand, much of our collaborative work for post-coal transition focuses on local stewardship of commons and livelihoods. Paradoxically, the boom and bust of jobs in coal mining catalyzed intergenerational traditions of forest livelihoods on the vast tracts of corporate, absentee owned lands and national forests. Global and national movements for knowledge democracy have produced a rich toolkit of methodologies for Participatory Action Research which is vital in uplifting and crystalizing the visions that emerge from these sustenance economies. However, we face massive barriers in our work, because of the ways in which extra-local government and philanthropic funds flow. We need federal resources to repair devastated land and waters from extractive economies. But, access to resources is structured by ideas about the ‘future’ (as codified into ‘plans’) that are antithetical to how local commoning actually generates its futures. (Inter)national, ‘progressive’ ideologies of ‘green transition’ are not adequately engaging the ways in which post-carbon transition might increase local and regional inequalities as massive funds flow through entrenched clientelistic gatekeeping and corruption in State structures. How adequate are our theories of the State to the needs of commoning? How can we reclaim bureaucratic and legislative structures for democratic commoning? What should be the role of anthropology in methodologies for transformation?

Roundtable RT07
Methodologies of the commons toward/in green transitions: Uncommoning, knowledge commons and social justice
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -