Patterns of Commoning


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What accounts for the persistence and spread of “commoning,” the irrepressible desire of people to collaborate and share to meet everyday needs? How are the more successful projects governed? And why are so many people embracing the commons as a powerful strategy for building a fair, humane and Earth-respecting social order?

In more than fifty original essays, Patterns of Commoning addresses these questions and probes the inner complexities of this timeless social paradigm. The book surveys some of the most notable, inspiring commons around the world, from alternative currencies and open design and manufacturing, to centuries-old community forests and co-learning commons — and dozens of others.

Margaret Thatcher once championed neoliberal capitalism with the harsh ultimatum, “There is no alternative!” Patterns of Commoning shows in vivid detail that there are plenty of alternatives! We need only understand the robust power of commoning. Patterns of Commoning follows on the heels of a 2012 anthology of essays, The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State (2012), which offered a panorama of perspectives on commons, the enclosures that threaten many of them, and the productive forces that they can unleash.

David Bollier ( is an American author, activist and independent scholar who has studied the commons for nearly twenty years. He has written or edited seven books on the commons, including Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons (, 2014); Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights and the Commons (, 2013), co-authored with Burns Weston. He is the cofounder of the Commons Strategies group with Silke Helfrich and Michel Bauwens.

Silke Helfrich ( is a German author and independent activist of the commons who blogs at, and cofounder of the Commons-Institut in Germany. A cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, Helfrich is the editor and co-author of several books on the commons, including Who Owns the World? The Rediscovery of the Commons (2009); editor of Elinor Ostrom: Was mehr wird, wenn wir teilen (Munich 2011); and, with the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Commons. Für eine neue Politik jenseits von Markt und Staat (Bielefeld 2012).

For more information, go to the book’s website, Patterns of Commoning (

Special offer: Buy Patterns of Commoning and The Wealth of the Commons ( together for at a special discounted rate of $30!

Contact the distributor at [email protected]. Buyers are reminded that international ship costs are expensive. If you live in the UK or Europe, you can order Patterns of Commoning from Central Books (

Weight 1.9 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in

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