Chapter 3 on ‘How do the commons meet the state’ by Francois-Xavier Viallon and Stéphane Nahrath provides a new look at the commons literature in the perspective of political science. The authors argue that the contemporary institutional context is strongly shaped by the state. Unfortunately, traditional approaches stemming from institutional economics have not fully recognized the state’s influence. In particular, the impact of public policies on the codification of ownership, management, and use of the commons has often been neglected. Combining institutional economics approaches with policy analysis, the authors contribute to fill this gap by suggesting four modalities of interaction between commoners’ organisations and the state: translation, infusion, complementarity, and resistance. In their view, these modalities may improve explanations of why and how commoners’ organisations emerge, perpetuate, or collapse in a complex legal setting increasingly shaped by public policies.