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  • The Reformist Commons

    Vangelis Papadimitropoulos

    Chapter from the book: Papadimitropoulos, V. 2020. The Commons: Economic Alternatives in the Digital Age.


    Within ‘The Reformist Commons’, the author establishes the views of a wide range of reformist theorists. This reformist approach to the commons combines liberal, social democratic, socialist and revolutionary elements in multiple variants. In the context of Benkler’s three basic future scenarios for the com­mons the author goes onto critically engage with the work of a number of thinkers who have further argued for the autonomisation of commons-based peer production in such models as the green governance (David Bollier and Silke Helfrich) and collaborative commons (Jeremy Rifkin) and platform cooperativism (Trebor Scholz) . Also discussed are Bauwens and Kostakis’s model of open cooperativism incorporating the ecological model of Design Global Manufacture, cosmolocalism and a partner state abetting commons-based peer production, Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peiterson’s ‘productive publics’ and digital distributism (Douglas Rushkoff). The author concludes with Erik Olin Wright’s arguments for how institutional space might be freed up for strategic action towards a commons-orientated transition. Wright’s perspective, the author argues offers the most holistic political alternative by integrating the self-instituting power of the people into a strategic pluralism based on multiple pathways of social empowerment, embodied in a variety of structural transformations. This may function as an institutional multi-format for the various reformist approaches advocated by the other thinkers.

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    Papadimitropoulos, V. 2020. The Reformist Commons. In: Papadimitropoulos, V, The Commons. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book46.c

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    Published on Oct. 20, 2020