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Accepted Paper:

Between sustainability and economic viability in ecosocial transition commoning experiences  
Patricia Homs (University of Barcelona and Aresta Cooperative.) Sara Sama Acedo (UNED, IDi ECOEMBEDDEDNESS) David Berná (Complutense University of Madrid)

Paper short abstract:

This communication addresses ecosocial transition through the comparison of three commoning experiences in Spain. On the one hand, it focuses on the socioeconomic diversity within the collectives. On the other hand, the tensions among sustainability and economic viability.

Paper long abstract:

This communication addresses ecosocial transition through the comparison of three commoning experiences situated in urban and rural contexts in Spain. The three ethnographic cases include fieldwork on community gardens in Madrid, agroecological provisioning systems in Catalonia and neorural communities in the mountains next to Madrid.

This communication focuses on two specific issues of these commoning experiences. On the one hand, the socioeconomic and cultural diversity within the collectives. On the other hand, the tensions among social and environmental sustainability and economic viability and its effects on the model of growth of the projects.

Regarding the first issue, we present specific mechanisms to include socioeconomic diversity within the collectives such as solidarity baskets or different ways of dividing the common land to grow vegetables Next, we introduce some of the tensions that emerge when these strategies are carried out in the collectives. For instance, in food coops, sometimes solidarity is interpreted as charity and it is rejected. In urban community gardens, the different forms of involvement and its translation into "work" is an important source of tension in the way of conceiving "the harvest" as a common good. Regarding the second issue, we introduce the tensions between including the reproductive work and their economic viability in a market context. Finally, we relate them to the need of scaling-up to ensure the political goals and the economic viability.

To conclude, these ethnographic cases provide evidence regarding the difficulties to include diversity and the tensions when these commoning experiences try to scale-up.

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