Davide Cristoferi

From civic uses to the commons: Studies on collective ownership in Italian medieval and modernist studies, and major international historiographical trends

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This paper aims to gather and summarize the studies on collective properties and the commons developed by historians of the Middle Ages and Early Modern times in Italy during the last two centuries. The paper also intends to focus on the influence of European and American literature on Italian historiography regarding the commons, with particular regard to the approaches of socioeconomic and environmental history. First, the paper focuses on the contributions and approaches of scholars of jurisprudence and of Medieval and Modern law. It also analyses the political and cultural context that provided the background for their research (§ 1). Secondly, it summarizes the main approaches of American social scientists on common pool resources - Garret Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" and Elinor Ostrom's "Governing the Commons" - as well as the chief environmental and eco-history contributions (§ 2). The paper then focuses on studies by historians of the Middle Ages and Early Modern times, analysing the most developed regional literature and the main contributions and collective works (§ 3), as well as the recent season of studies on the management of the commons (§ 4).

Article first page

Article first page