Book Releases

Alongside the various panels and paper presentations, a number of special events were organized during the Conference; book releases being among them. The following books were released during the Conference, each adding valuably to the existing knowledge on commons.

  • Disputing the Floodplains, Edited by Tobias Haller—Disputing the Floodplains was released on January 11, 2011.
  • About the Book--African Floodplains in semi-arid areas are important for local livelihoods as they harbor many common-pool resources such as fisheries, pasture, wildlife, veldt products, water and land for irrigation. However, in many of these areas resources are under pressure. This book is presenting seven case studies from Mali, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana based on anthropological fieldwork (2002-08) and explores how these common-pool resources have been managed in pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial times. The major focus of the study is how institutional change has contributed to resource management problems and offers a comparative analysis based on the New Institutionalist approach (Jean Ensminger, ElinorOstrom), which is combined with a special focus on ideology, discourse and narratives while focusing on conflict and power issues. With a foreword by Elinor Ostrom.
  • Vocabulary of Commons by Varied Authors-- The criticality of the commons in everyday life is often taken for granted. It needs to be better appreciated so that appropriate institutional mechanisms to ensure the health of the commons are created, and their survival ensured. The multiple crisis of the globe—agrarian, financial, social and ecological—are evidence of the neglect of the commons and the community. It is in the commons and cooperation that the way forward lies.

    This book looks at the commons through the lens of those excluded yet have some of the richest practices of cooperation and a relationship with the commons as a way of life—a relationship that the dominant society idealises, yearns for and even romanticises but is unable to practice. It provides glimpses of working practices some popular, some dying, but all analysed for their relevance and role in sustaining the commons. These experiences are rooted in a variety of landscapes traversing through the rural, urban, indigenous, agrarian and coastal communities, and trace the shift from commons to capitalism. It also elaborates on commons of different genre from knowledge, religion and cultural commons to the natural, physical commons and built commons. These are experiences based in India subcontinent but with a global relevance and a foundation that can contribute to understanding and strengthening of commons and communities.
  • Commercial Pressures on Land: Global Research Series by Collaborative research project bringing together a wide variety of authors. Coordinated by the International Land Coalition Secretariat (Dr Michael Taylor) with Technical Support from CIRAD (Dr Ward Anseeuw)--Originated by the rising concerns expressed by many International Land Coalition (ILC) members in 2008, the Commercial Pressures on Land research project is intended to go beyond the large-scale land acquisitions phenomenon, focussing on the wider set of converging drivers for investment interest in land, such as rising food consumption and predicted long-term food prices rises; demand for feedstock for agrofuels; increasing commodity prices; carbon-trading mechanisms such as REDD; and rent seeking and speculation practices on land by recontextualising them within longer term tendencies.

    In complementarity with other studies such as those by World Bank, FAO and IFAD, ILC's studies focus more on impacts and possible solutions than on mapping the phenomenon. The series takes a multi-level approach which includes and even confronts the analyses and debates on global stakes as well as on local impacts and responses.

    It also acknowledges that it is indispensable to integrate in the research project the populations concerned and civil society organizations of the countries affected, not only as recipients of the results of the study but as project leaders and participants in the effective implementation of the research projects. The Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project therefore builds on the strengths of International Land Coalition's diverse membership through a collaborative effort and creates the opportunity for a high level and inclusive debate on a core issue of the twenty first century.

    Through the partnership of a wide group of research institutions, civil society organizations and independent researchers, the current project is leading to the development of over 30 studies, including a final crosscutting analysis, that have benefited from the work done by two ILC members – Agter and CIRAD - which have developed the initial conceptual framework and provided technical assistance to all the parties involved throughout the process.
  • Resources, Rights, and Cooperation: A Sourcebook on Property Rights and Collective Action for Sustainable Development
    Published bythe CGIAR Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) International Food Policy Research Institute

    This first CAPRi sourcebook is a fitting commemoration of the 15th anniversary of CAPRi. The sourcebook is based directly on the experiences and lessons of CAPRi research from around the world. Its content is based on sound underlying research, but the presentation is simple, straightforward, and accessible. The objective of the book is to build capacity of research and development organizations to recognize the importance and relevance of CAPRi concepts and to apply the lessons and methods from CAPRi research to their work with communities, policymakers, and other stakeholders. It is our hope that it will serve not only as a relevant and practical guide for development practitioners, trainers, and policymakers, but will also be used in universities and other institutions of higher learning.