With an emphasis on the challenges of sustaining the commons across local to global scales, Making Commons Dynamic examines the empirical basis of theorising the concepts of commonisation and decommonisation as a way to understand commons as a process and offers analytical directions for policy and practice that can potentially help maintain commons as commons in the future.

Focusing on commonisation–decommonisation as an analytical framework useful to examine and respond to changes in the commons, the chapter contributions explore how natural resources are commonised and decommonised through the influence of multi-level internal and external drivers, and their implications for commons governance across disparate geographical and temporal contexts. It draws from a large number of geographically diverse empirical cases – 20 countries in North, South, and Central America and South- and South-East Asia. They involve a wide range of commons – related to fisheries, forests, grazing, wetlands, coastal-marine, rivers and dams, aquaculture, wildlife, tourism, groundwater, surface freshwater, mountains, small islands, social movements, and climate.

The book is a transdisciplinary endeavour with contributions by scholars from geography, history, sociology, anthropology, political studies, planning, human ecology, cultural and applied ecology, environmental and development studies, environmental science and technology, public policy, Indigenous/tribal studies, Latin American and Asian studies, and environmental change and governance, and authors representing the commons community, NGOs, and policy. Contributors include academics, community members, NGOs, practitioners, and policymakers. Therefore, commonisation–decommonisation lessons drawn from these chapters are well suited for contributing to the practice, policy, and theory of the commons, both locally and globally.

part I|23 pages


chapter Chapter 1|21 pages

Framing commons as a process

The rudiments of commonisation and decommonisation
ByPrateep Kumar Nayak, Fikret Berkes

part II|56 pages

Roots of decommonisation

chapter Chapter 3|11 pages

The cascading effects of coastal commonisation and decommonisation

ByJeremy Pittman

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

Governing fluvial commons in Colonial Bihar

Alluvion and diluvion regulation and decommonisation
ByVipul Singh

part III|83 pages

What enables commonisation?

chapter Chapter 5|19 pages

Five key characteristics that drive commonisation

Empirical evidence from Sri Lankan shrimp aquaculture
ByEranga Kokila Galappaththi, Iroshani Madu Galappaththi

chapter Chapter 6|21 pages

Vicuña conservation and the reinvigoration of Indigenous communities in the Andes

ByGabriela Lichtenstein, Carlos Cowan Ros

chapter Chapter 7|15 pages

Commoning and climate justice

ByPatricia E. (Ellie) Perkins

part IV|144 pages

Commonisation and decommonisation as parallel processes

chapter Chapter 9|24 pages

Commoning and the commons as more-than-resourcesA historical perspective on Comcáac or Seri fishing

ByXavier Basurto, Alejandro García Lozano

chapter Chapter 11|19 pages

Creating a commons for global climate governance

Possibilities and perils in the Paris Climate Agreement
ByCraig A. Johnson

chapter Chapter 12|25 pages

Migration and the commons

Recommonisation in Indigenous Mexico
ByDaniel Klooster, James Robson

chapter Chapter 13|28 pages

Decommonisation–commonisation dynamics and social movements

Insights from a meta-analysis of case studies
BySergio Villamayor-Tomás, Gustavo García-López

chapter Chapter 14|26 pages

Decommonisation and new-commonisation of mountain commons in northern Pakistan

ByShah Raees Khan, C. Emdad Haque

part V|39 pages


chapter Chapter 15|18 pages

Governance and the process of (de)commonisation

ByDerek Armitage, Evan J. Andrews, Jessica Blythe, Ana Carolina E. Dias, Prateep Kumar Nayak, Jeremy Pittman, Sajida Sultana

chapter Chapter 16|19 pages

Commonisation–decommonisation perspective

Lessons for practice, policy and theory
ByPrateep Kumar Nayak