More on (transatlantic) commons scholarship: The editors of the International Journal of the Commons (Frank van Laerhoven, Michael Schoon, Sergio Villamayor-Tomas) just published an interesting quantitative review of commons scholarship over the last five decades, "Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Ostrom’s Governing the Commons: Traditions and Trends in the Study of the Commons, Revisited". There are interesting statistics and tables on journals, citations, disciplines, and more. (For a different take on the history of the field, see The Tragedy of the Commons at 50.) Some highlights:
The start of commons scholarship can be understood as growing out of a rejection of Hardin’s prediction of natural resource degradation unless managed by governments or through private property rights (Poteete et al. 2010). Over time, however the approach appears to have been evolving.
Arguably, commons studies grew out of concerns associated with the tragedy of the commons. Accordingly, typical studies of the commons have been associated with local contexts, particularly with common pool resources such as forests, fisheries and irrigation, and an interest in the opportunities and challenges of common property rights and rules....
Hardin (1968) asked us to “picture a pasture, open to all.” Pastures, together with fisheries, forests, irrigation systems, and water management belong to what the authors of the 2007 study referred to as the “Big Five” in the study of the commons. Through 2007 these topics drew most of the combined attention of commons scholars. Overall, we find that this trend continues [unabated]. Over time, we see a relative increase in interest in water and fisheries since 2007.
Where Hardin claimed that only the state or the market could prevent a tragedy of the commons, Ostrom dedicated most of her career to showing how there is a lot of room on the spectrum that ranges between these two extremes (e.g. Ostrom, 1994). Figure 18 presents a crude way to gauge our field’s attention to the market, the state, and self-governance over time.