Publication: Bridging the gap between critical theory and empirical studies: a relational approach to the study of the urban commons
Since the unfolding of industrial capitalism, the institution of the Market, based on the logic of Capital accumulation and commodification, has prevailed in the social space through the support of the institution of the State. In reality, the State, on behalf of the Society, should have represented the institution which, through the logic of the Public, based on universalization and social protection, could have balanced and challenged the Market. However, it is evident that the State has not only been an inadequate institution for the protection of the Society, but has also often withdrawn from this role due to a bizarre, complex and intertwined relationship with the Market. The last decades of our history constitute the evidence that the protective role of the State has waned, giving rise to the hegemonic, albeit variegated, neoliberal regime (Peck and al, 2012), whereby the logic of the Market has permeated into the institution of the State. In the face of this reality, that even the latest economic crisis does not seem to have changed, despite the many urban protests which emerged in various parts of the globe and in the wake of the failure of the communist utopia and if the post-politicization of the Left that has finally assumed the same Market logic, the Society seems to be out of alternatives. However, in this apparently catastrophic economic, social and political landscape a new logic has emerged in the contemporary counter-hegemonic discourse: the logic of the Common (Negri; Hardt, 2009; Laval; Dardot, 2014). This logic, based on two main principles, cooperation and self-government, aims to challenge not only the institution of the Market but also the intertwined relation between the latter and the State in order to put in motion a process of emancipation of the Society from both. The theory of the Common derives from and connects to the theory of the Commons as the principles on which both are based are the same. However, despite their close relationship, it is necessary to separate the two theories, especially in the light of empirical work.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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