This paper presents a critical assessment of the field of common property. After discussing briefly the major findings and accomplishments of the scholarship on the commons, the paper pursues two strategies of critique. The first strategy of friendly critique accepts the basic assumptions of most writings on common property to show that scholars of commons have discovered far more variables that potentially affect resource management than is possible to analyze carefully. The paper identifies some potential means to address the problem of too many variables. The second line of critique proceeds differently. It asks how analyses of common property might change, and what they need to consider, if they loosen assumptions about sovereign selves and apolitical property rights institutions. My examination of these questions concludes this review with an emphasis on the need to () attend more carefully to processes of subject formation, and () investigate common property arrangements and associated subject positions with greater historical depth.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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