2018 - 2019

  Who Owns the Commons?  
Daniel MishoriGilman-humanities317 Sun1200-1400 Sem  1
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

Private property is one of contemporary dominant social institutions. Without it, capitalism and modern economy cannot be understood. Private property is based on exclusion, and thus is contrary to common property – “the commons”. This concept serves both as a new framework for discussion of environmental justice and as an attempt to redraw the map of relations between market economy, society and the environment. This concept first appeared in the environmental debate as an answer to the question of the origin of our ecological crisis. According to biologist Garrett Hardin, the environmental crisis is inevitable because natural resources are managed as common resources ("the tragedy of the commons"). Proposals to "solve" the tragedy through privatization have been described by critics and historians as creating a different social "tragedy": the enclosure, the expropriation of the rights of groups and nations and their transfer to few, creating economic and social inequalities. These theme recur in the discourse on copyright and intellectual property in the digital and intellectual spheres, especially in the context of globalization, international trade agreements, modern agriculture, the Internet, open source software, copyright, patents and scientific research, etc. A central focus will be given to issues related to public space and natural resource management The course will address recent examples of social-environmental issues in Israel, as well as issues arising from the network effect and new models of cooperation and the economy of gifts that challenge traditional perceptions of property, competition and market economy.

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tel aviv university