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Ethnography of the commons

04 sep 2020 14:30 - 19:00

Workshop organized by Angelo Torre, historian, 2019-2020 Paris IAS Research Fellow

Classical common goods have always been studied from perspectives (communism, capitalism, liberalism, solidarity, etc.) foreign to the realities in which they have existed. Instead, we need to move towards a historical ethnography of common goods. This ethnography of common goods can be constructed on the basis of a series of considerations that we wish to discuss.

Classical common goods are a complex object, which almost intuitively seems to require interdisciplinary analyses: they occupy space, they are subject to multiple uses, they house flora and fauna, they constitute and produce resources, they are often contested and are the subject of complex and varied forms of possession by social bodies, legal entities or local authorities of different sizes.

Faced with this complexity, however, the study of common goods has been approached mainly through disciplinary channels (historical, social, economic, legal, etc.). Interdisciplinary approaches, addressed mainly by Lin Ostrom and his school, have almost exclusively emphasised the organisational and institutional elements related to the management of these collective resources. This approach, which undoubtedly has the merit of having fostered an enormous amount of field research and theoretical reflection, tends to obscure other important aspects.

With :

Tamar Herzog (Harvard University), ‘ How did the Commons become Terra Nullius ? Colonial Debates from a European Perspectives’

Emanuele Conte (Università di Roma3), ‘How to frame a Common at Law ? Some examples of Legal Qualifications of Common Use’

Sarah Vanuxem (Université de Nice), ‘La taqbilt des Aït M’hand, une petite république fondée sur des « communaux »

Michele Spanò (EHESS), ‘The « Social » as the « Common » ? An inquiry in the Soziale Aufgabe in Private Law

Roland Viader (Université de Toulouse), « Common Lands and Neighbouring COmmunities : a Trial from 13th century Gascony »

Vittorio Tigrino (Università del Piemonte Orientale) and Giulia Beltrametti (LabisAlp/Archivio di Stato di Torino), « Common Places : Settlements and Collective Property in Liguria (18th – 19th Century)

Jean-Paul Métailié (Université de Toulouse) and F. Dupras (GEODE-CNRS, Université de Toulouse), « Fire in the Commons. Traditional Practices and Ecological Debate about Pastoral Management in the Pyrenées (France) »

Paul Dominguez (EHESS-Université de Toulouse), « Ethnography of the socio-economic contributions of the agdal institution, a paradigmatic agro-sylvo-pastoral communal governance system of the Maghreb »

Anna Stagno (University of Genoa), title to be defined.

Alain Mahé (EHESS), title to be defined.

Alice Ingold (EHESS), title to be defined.

Claiming the common good? Local resources, culture of possession and social bodies in the Old Régime
01 September 2019 - 30 June 2020
04 Sep 2020 19:00
Angelo Torre
Conferences and workshops