From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Economics (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Economics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Economics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Sociology (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Environment (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This environment-related article is part of the WikiProject Environment to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the environment. The aim is to write neutral and well-referenced articles on environment-related topics, as well as to ensure that environment articles are properly categorized.
Read Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ and leave any messages at the project talk page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Proposed merge[edit]

There are several articles concerning the Commons. You can find:

I believe this article, which is not much but a compilation of links, should be merged into one of those. I believe the more appropriate merge would be with the second one, being the 3rd a special case of the 2nd, while the 1st is not classified appropriately and seems focus on marginal issues. Thus, I proposed such merging. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Samer.hc (talkcontribs) 16:43, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

(The discussion on this is here). Moonraker12 (talk) 14:18, 23 October 2009 (UTC)


This article needs a considerable amount of work if it is to survive.
At the least it needs some text in the various sections to explain what they are about (in fact, what the article is about! It appears to be on the modern and historical conflict over common land, but I’m only guessing…)
Any offers? Moonraker12 (talk) 13:12, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

See Enclosure - a very comprehensive article on the same subject. Wizzy 13:31, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Freedom to roam? -a commoner's right?[edit]

Seems to be the same as commoner's rights in English culture (in fact probably same origin) WIKIPEDIA seems to confuse by emphasising the access to land RATHER than the use of the land for food gathering or fuel. I propose that right to roam should be brought under this article as a sub right of commoner's rights.

YES there needs some re-writing to give the historical perspective of Norse times (1000 yrs back when there was common understanding for Iceland, Sweden, England Denmark finland and norway, ireland and Scotland all in one kingdom or culturally having this these rights the NORMAN influence in modifying them in an anglosaxon context and lastly how the rights are different in another cultural perspective (as in the rest of the world). YEP its a big job - so I am not going to do it but I recommend it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:13, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

I've moved this down, per WP:TALK, so it's in the correct place in the sequence. And, No, I don't agree that the Right to Roam is the same thing as Commoners rights, and a merge of the two would be a very bad idea. Moonraker12 (talk) 18:13, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Public Property vs The Commons vs Common Pool Resources[edit]

This article doesn't mention the difference between public property and the commons. Is public property a part of the commons? Does the state own public property? (Commons can't be owned by state?) Teilolondon (talk) 19:48, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

I totally agree with Teilolondon's point. I'd go further and say that in the "Concepts" section the ideas are totally confused. Maybe the cited author Peter Barnes blurs a bit the distinction between public commons and the commons (maybe one of us interpreted that way). I suggest reading the introduction of this essay so one can see that this concept mixing worth to be mentioned. I suggest that the "Concepts" section should be broken in two parts: actual commons concepts and entangled/confusing mixed concepts (including CPR). Anyone against that? I'm able to provide a first version for that. --NiginiOliveira (talk) 14:19, 16 November 2013 (UTC)


This proposition is contradictive to the definition of commons: "The third aspect of the commons is that, unlike resources, they are not scarce but abundant" (the Ecologist 1993: 9).[1] Forests, rivers, fisheries or grazing land can be scarce. Teilolondon (talk) 12:41, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Link to Tragedy of the Commons[edit]

This article, at the time of reading, seems biased in favour of supporting a view that anything common must be good by default. The article neglects "the tragedy of the commons", an observation that individuals with common use of a resource will eventually run it into the ground without regulation.

Environmental examples cited in this article seem to deliberately illustrate the author/s' belief that all people will act altruistically without rules. Unrestricted use of commons often leads to exploitation though, and in response regulatory structures for public assets are sometimes created by publicly elected bodies to protect commons from further exploitation and ruin. Perhaps the author/s' of this item might like to revise it to include some examples (William Forster Lloyd might be a good place to start) of cases where unregulated commons have been exploited to their detriment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree. The tragedy of the Commons has been alleged by many scholars as a well spread myth, very used in Economics, that has no empirical support. A quick google search would provide many refutations, for example: --Samer.hc (talk) 20:02, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
No empirical support? What about the over fishing of cod in the North Sea? (Brown, Paul. "Overfishing and global warming land cod on endangered list".  Text "Guardian, Thursday 20 July 2000" ignored (help)) There are plenty of examples of hunting species to extinction because of a lack of laws to protect them, the RSPB was set up to protect birds shot for their fancy feathers that lead to their extinction or near extinction in the UK (see History of the RSPB). When the British brought in the clean air acts in the 1950s one of the provisions was that coal fired power stations had to have higher chimneys. This meant the filth no longer came down in Britain. But "what goes up must come down", instead carried by the prevailing winds it fell on Scandinavia killing their forests (Innes, John L.; Haron, Abu Hassan; IUFRO Task Force on Environmental Change (2000), Air pollution and the forests of developing and rapidly industrializing regions, IUFRO research series, International Union of Forestry Research Organizations 4 (illustrated ed.), CABI, p. 218, ISBN 0851994814 ).Indeed many of the classic "Tragedy of the Commons" are bound up with the lack of international law and some scholars point to the failure of Kyoto Protocol as an example: Paavola, Jouni (March 2011), Climate Change: The Ultimate 'Tragedy of the Commons'?, Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds 
I have not read Elinor Ostrom's work, but there is a brief summary here: "First Woman to Win Nobel Prize in Economics Wins for Work Validating Anarchist Principles". October 24 2009.  . It says nothing that anyone with a knowledge of British common land would not recognise, that is commons within a framework of law can and have existed for centuries. But when there is either no law or the law is not enforced then exploitation of common resources often leads to their over exploitation.
In England over the last 60 years the quality of many existing commons had deteriorated due to neglect by commoners (a sort of reversal of the tragedy of the commons). This is because England is naturally wooded and if common spaces are not maintained they will given time revert to forest see for example the article on Ashdown Forest.
I think I have written enough, to show that as it is at the moment this article has a slanted POV and it needs to mention examples of where Commons have problems, which are often summed up in the expression "Tragedy of the Commons" . Indeed I would suggest that {{POV}} be added to the head of this article until theses issues are addressed. -- PBS (talk) 01:28, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposed change of article title[edit]

I have no idea why this article should be called "The Commons" with a redirect from "Commons" as this appears to go against Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name). As there is no other article entitled "Commons" I propose to request that this article is renamed "Commons" unless there is a good reason not to. Richerman (talk) 00:22, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

It's been moved. --kelapstick(bainuu) 09:47, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Global Commons[edit]

This article should be coordinated with the article on Global Commons. As a minimum the articles should cross reference each other and highlight the key similarities and distinctions.

Perhaps they should be merged. Thanks! --Lbeaumont (talk) 03:50, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ The Ecologist magazine