Over the last decade or more, there has been a detectable and growing dissatisfaction among students with the "status quo" in the way the society works. Students have witnessed terrorism, long-term war, a "great recession," the "Occupy" movement, effects of climate change and worse projections to come, and most recently, a global pandemic with a great impact on the economy. Many students are looking for models of hope and alternatives to the status quo on how society at local, regional and global levels might operate to collectively address problems.
In this course, we will review historical and contemporary commons cases. [Note: Some of you might ask: “What exactly are commons”? This will be a question we will examine throughout the course, but I include three different definitions or descriptions in the box on the next page.]
We will explore how these forms of social organization might be used to change the way we humans interact. Central to these discussions will be learning methods for studying commons governance, called "Institutional Analysis," and a focal activity in the course will be a project where we study the governance and management of one or more active commons cases. Our overall goal is to study and investigate both successful and unsuccessful cases, and get inspired.
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