Chapter 1 provides an initial discussion on the relevance of this volume in the discussion of common-pool resource management in common property, 30 years after Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel prize-winning book that was also based on the work of Robert Netting on the governance of the Swiss commons. The chapter provides a critical assessment of this influence, which was also a reaction to the legacy of Garret Hardin’s tragedy of the commons paradigm. This led Ostrom to provide a counter-discourse for which Switzerland was a key case of the proof that local actors are capable of developing robust institutions. However, she did not reflect the economic and political nor the power-specific conditions under which the common property institutions were developed. The chapter explains why and how the authors will provide a different view on the development and change of common property institutions for pastures and forests in Switzerland. The authors argue that this was a power-specific balancing act between the market and the state and that Switzerland can be seen as a kind of lab for further commons development. The chapter further includes an overview of three of the approaches used, five case study contributions and the comparative synthesis.