Infrastructures of care: opening up ‘home’ as commons in a hot city

Abby Mellick Lopes
Stephen Healy
Emma Power
Louise Crabtree
Katherine Gibson

What does it mean to be at home in a hot city? One response is to shut our doors
and close ourselves in a cocoon of air-conditioned thermal comfort. As the climate
warms, indoor environments facilitated by technical infrastructures of cooling are
fast becoming the condition around which urban life is shaped. The price we pay for
this response is high: our bodies have become sedentary, patterns of consumption
individualized, and spaces of comfortable mobility and sociality in the city, termed

Commoning and the Politics of Solidarity: Transformational Responses to Poverty

Stephen Healy
Craig Borowiak
Marianna Pavlovskaya
Maliha Safri

This paper stages an encounter between Relational Poverty Theory (RPT) and the solidarity economy movement.  RPT understands poverty as the dynamic product of economic exploitation, political exclusion and cultural marginalization. The solidarity economy movement can be seen as a transformative political response to these dynamics aiming to replace exploitation with cooperation, exclusion with participation and marginalisation with practices of inclusion.

Commoning Social Life

Stephen Healy
katherine Gibson
The Convento de Maria del Giglio in Bolsena, Italy4 Photo by Elizabeth Barron, 2013

From our atmosphere to the open ocean, from our languages to the rule of law, use without ownership underpins human experience. It is critical to our continued survival beyond the Anthropocene. These resources and properties are ineluctably shared because they are not wholly appropriable; they are used as part of a commons because they cannot be entirely exchanged. They are held in common because they cannot be completely enclosed.

Community Economies: Responding to questions of scale, agency, and Indigenous connections in Aotearoa New Zealand

Gradon Diprose
Kelly Dombroski
Stephen Healy
Waitoa, Joanne

This commentary was invited by the special editors of this issue and is partly based on the Community Economies session that the four authors organised at the Social Movements Conference III: Resistance and Social Change in Wellington, 2016. During the session, a number of questions were asked by participants. Some of these questions were new for us, while others have been asked of Community Economy scholars before.

Commoning As Postcapitalist Politics

J.K. Gibson-Graham
Jenny Cameron
Stephen Healy

Today the planet faces a genuine tragedy of the unmanaged “commons.” For decades an open access and unmanaged resource has been treated with the same sort of disregard as Hardin’s pasture was treated. The planet’s life-supporting atmosphere has been spoiled by “‘help yourself’ or ‘feel free’ attitudes” (Hardin 1998: 683). We are now faced with the seemingly impossible task of transforming an open access and unmanaged planetary resource into a commons which is managed and cared for.

Toward a Cartography of the Commons: Constituting the Political and Economic Possibilities of Place

Kevin St. Martin

Competing with the cartography of capitalism, undermining its power to fix resources as open to capitalist appropriation and space as enclosed, will require a cartography of the commons that makes visible community and commons processes; it will require a shift in strategy from explicating and defending existing commons to mapping spaces into which a commons future might be projected. The Buffalo Commons and a map-based project in New England fisheries link new spatial imaginaries with desires for and enactments of alternative economic initiatives.

Disrupting Enclosure in New England Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

"The commons" is often represented in terms that place capitalism at the center of the story, thus making "a commons future" difficult to imagine. This paper examines this problematic through research on the common property management regime of New England fisheries, seeking to offer alternative representations of commons that might open up economic possibility.