The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 30: Framing essay: the diversity of property

Kevin St. Martin


Property concerns exclusive rights to the access and use of a resource, the possession of an object or territory with a right to exclude others, or the ability to dispose of or exchange an owned object. The particular property regime that has, for at least the minority world, become a ‘common sense’ is a private and individualized notion of property that is manifest in legal title and state enforcement. Emerging along with the enclosure of the commons in the sixteenth century, this property is also closely associated with the origins and alleged efficiencies and rationalities of capitalism. Contemporary initiatives that disrupt this ‘common sense’ and repurpose property include, for example, the movement of workers to ‘recover’ abandoned factories in Argentina. These and many other projects work to sever property from its association with capitalism by drawing upon property’s many possibilities and, particularly, its potentials for fostering economies that foreground a common well-being.

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