Across the globe, political movements opposing privatisation, enclosures, and other spatial controls are coalescing towards the idea of the ‘commons’. As a result, struggles over the commons and common life are now coming to the forefront of both political activism and scholarly enquiry. This book advances academic debates concerning the spatialities of the commons and draws out the diverse materialities, temporalities, and experiences of practices of commoning.

Part one, "Materialising the Commons" focuses on the performance of new geographical imaginations in spatial and material practices of commoning. Part two, "Spaces of Commoning", explores the importance of the turn from ‘commons’ to ‘commoning’, bringing together chapters focusing on the "doing" of commons, and how spaces, materials, bodies and abstract flows are intertwined in these complex and excessive processes. Part three, "An Expanded Commons", explores the broader registers and spaces in which the concept of the commons is at stake and highlights how and where the commons can open new areas of action and research. Part four, "The Capture of the Commons", questions the particular interdependence of ‘the commons’ and ‘enclosure’ assumed within commons literature framed by the concept of neoliberalism.

Providing a comprehensive introduction to the diverse ways in which ideas of the commons are being conceptualised and enacted both throughout the social sciences and in practical action, this book foregrounds the commons as an arena for political thought and sets an agenda for future research. 

chapter |28 pages


The promise of the commons

part I|61 pages

Materialising the commons

chapter 2|20 pages

A politics of the common

Revisiting the late nineteenth-century Open Spaces movement through Rancière's aesthetic lens

chapter 3|16 pages

A politics of the common

Reimagining ‘the common law' with Jean-Luc Nancy

part II|39 pages


chapter 4|20 pages

The more-than-human commons

From commons to commoning

chapter 5|18 pages

‘Where's the trick?'

Practices of commoning across a reclaimed shop front

part III|51 pages

An expanded commons

chapter 6|17 pages

Expanding the subject of planning

Enacting the relational complexities of more-than-human urban common(er)s

chapter 7|16 pages

Occupy the future

chapter 8|17 pages

Imaginaries of a global commons

Memories of violence and social justice

part IV|20 pages

The capture of the commons

chapter 10|20 pages

Controlled natures

Disorder and dissensus in the urban park