chapter  2
14 Pages

The Tragedy of the Commons

ByEmery Roe

From the Girardian perspective, the tragedy of the commons is a crisis and the crisis is real; the accused are herders and their adherence to communal land tenure; and their crime is to permit an overgrazing that leaves what was a once a varied range everywhere undifferentiated and denuded. From the local justice perspective, what is going on a tragedy of the commons as much as local justice. From cultural theory perspective, author must jettison the tragedy of the commons narrative that “herders” can be treated as homogeneous in their calculation and production. From a cultural theory perspective, the tragedy-of-the-commons narrative of homogeneous herders is far too simplistic. Lurking in these worries is the real fear of the project designer and policymaker, the silent suspicion, more and more bordering on conviction, that if there was a tragedy of the commons to justify the project or policy in the first place, a tragedy of the commons that is left behind.