Forests as Commons – Changing Traditions and Governance in Europe

Short, Christopher J ORCID: 0000-0003-0429-1143 (2011) Forests as Commons – Changing Traditions and Governance in Europe. In: New Perspectives on People and Forests. Springer Netherlands, pp. 61-74.

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Commons are complex institutions and exist across the world in a wide range of situations regarding locally developed governance and management systems of many different natural resources. For many people commons remain associated with Hardin’s theory concerning the “Tragedy of the Commons” (1968), in which he assumed that local users of a natural resource are unable to formulate governance and management structures concerning their own choices that took into account the long-term sustainability of the resource itself. As a result, Hardin articulated that the tragedy was that the resource would inevitably become degraded in such situations and that the solution was private or public ownership. However, across Europe many forests have for a very long period of time successfully been managed as commons, just as they have in many other parts of the world. This chapter has three main aims: It will provide an introduction to the various types of commons before going on to link the issue of commons to the traditional forest landscapes of Europe, and it will look at how the role of forests and forest landscapes has changed and how it may change further in the future.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 15:10
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2021 12:01

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