The Commons and a New Global Governance
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The Commons and a New Global Governance

Edited by Samuel Cogolati and Jan Wouters

Given the new-found importance of the commons in current political discourse, it has become increasingly necessary to explore the democratic, institutional, and legal implications of the commons for global governance today. This book analyses and explores the ground-breaking model of the commons and its relation to these debates.
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Chapter 14: Conclusion: is the governance of the commons a model for a new global governance?

Martin Deleixhe

Abstract

The conclusion to this book argues that the political principle underlying the commons resonates with the emerging global governance and offers an innovative political model to reform and regulate international interactions. For commons are intrinsically associated with a polycentric logic of governance, involving all stakeholders in the definition of the practices to be adopted to manage them sustainably. To substantiate this claim, this conclusion proceeds in three steps. It first emphasizes that the commons should not be associated narrowly with a certain type of goods but rather deserve to be treated as a ground-breaking model of governance. It then highlights that the type of governance provided by the principle of the common bears some striking similarities with the concept of global governance as it was introduced in the academic and political debate in the 1990s. Finally, to stress the originality and the added-value of the commons, it contrasts them with another contemporary model of governance advocated on the international stage, that is the model of global public goods. This conclusion shows that the latter reiterate a (slightly amended) logic of government on a different scale, including the recourse to a centralized authoritative power, whereas commons provide opportunities for a decentralized and proto-democratic global governance to arise.

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