Whose Common Future?: Reclaiming the Commons
by The Ecologist magazine
AVAILABILITY: Readily available
Publication Date: 1993
Publisher: New Society
Topics: Corporate Rule, Democracy: Theory & Practice, Economics, History: Local to Global, Nature, Social Movements, Sustainable Community, Technology, Third World Peoples
Description: 'Whose Common Future?' presents a remarkable and penetrating diagnosis of the world's accelerating environmental crises. Using a range of examples which reflects the diversity of commons regimes - from medieval England to the streets of Bangkok and New York - the authors trace the degradation of the environment to the enclosure of the commons and the domination and dispossession of local communities.
Communities depend on the shared resources of the commons for their autonomy and even their identity. Under the guise of 'nation building', 'economic growth' and 'development', the commons are being ever more rapidly eroded . With them go the land, skills and traditions of the people they support. The 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio was thought to have tackled these problems, but the solutions proposed there simply handed more power to the agencies and forces causing the damage. Power is the central issue - who holds it, how it is exercised and for whose benefit. What communities need is not outside 'management', but control over their own resources and the scope to run their own affairs.
Since it was first founded in 1970, The Ecologist has been actively involved in critiquing current environment and development policies through its journal and its associated campaigning work.
Review(s): "Anyone who has ever dreamed of life on a democratic plateau should read this book" - The Guardian