Reclaiming the commons: a discourse for new politics. How grassroots activists are shaping the future

Ball, Sophie Anita (2015) Reclaiming the commons: a discourse for new politics. How grassroots activists are shaping the future. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Where neoliberalism has encroached upon, privatised, destroyed or damaged commons, where it has limited or denied access to physical, economic, cultural and political spaces, then movements to reclaim spaces, to ‘reclaim the commons’, have emerged to counter these trends. This thesis argues that contemporary concepts of the commons help us to transcend the pro-capitalist/anti-capitalist dichotomy and to reconceptualise the political and economic sphere. The examples of discourse and practice that this thesis explores illustrate both the emergence of the language of the commons from many different spheres of life and also its influence across a range of fields. The analysis includes a historical overview of the commons, while focusing on the evolution of the concept from the latter half of the 20th century to the present day, with the most recent material taken from events occurring in 2012. In the case-study, contemporary grassroots activists talk about their work and what the notions of the commons mean to them. Through this vision, we recognise what is lost through the hegemony of ongoing capitalist appropriation, accumulation and exploitation of all aspects of life and reassert rights over - reclaim - that which has been lost. Through the struggle of all those involved in reclaiming the commons, a discourse for new politics emerges and shapes the future. This thesis suggests the emergence of a new discourse of the commons that makes possible a reconceptualisation of social, economic and political spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
B. > Theses
Item ID: 15146
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 13:56
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2016 14:18
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15146

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