The collapse of the former Soviet Union and the rise of neoliberalism have implied a massive transition towards the privatization of commons and public property over the past two decades. However in recent years, democratically elected, leftist governments have gained power at national and sub-national levels in countries around the world, including South American countries. Similarly, left parties and coalitions have retained power in India and Vietnam among others. Some of these governments and leftist social movements--either allied with them or independent, have propelled new imaginaries translated into new legislation, policies, and practices in favor of commons.
The experiences of this phenomenon, however, have not been systematically studied yet. We may ask, therefore: If such experiences contribute to, or have used the established commons theories? How do these governments and social movements understand the commons? What are their most important legal, economic, cultural and ecological innovations? How do these new imaginaries and legislation articulate in practice? Are these communal practices strong enough to survive after governments promoting them are defeated? And ultimately, what lessons can we derive from these attempts?
L.Ciro Marcano (Center for Development Studies, Caracas, Venezuela / Clark University, USA)
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