Version 3.2_September 2016

Research In Action Special Session: Reclaiming the commons from theory to practice

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The title of this course is: “Reclaiming the commons”, and aims to make a theoretical reflection on the concept of community management of lands and resources and a series of discussions or proposals on how to set up this concept. We will use the real-world example of a rural community in the Iberian Mountain range in Teruel (Spain), through a project of community management of the Recartografias movement. Recartografias is an association and research group based at the University of Valencia, which aims to study and value rural areas which are completely dismantled and abandoned by the penetration of the logics of market relations in ancient communities. These rural communities historically lived in social models with low environmental impacts.From the academic point of view we want to study how these rural mountain communities used to live, how they were organized and why they disappeared. However, Recartografías is an action-research project. In addition to research, the second objective consists of an integrated plan for the full recovery of a neighbourhood in the form of Ecovillage, whose name is Mas Blanco. The organisational model chosen for the restoration project is land stewardship and common-pool resources management, with the ultimate aim of re-enfranchisement of rural communities through a fluid and close relationship between new and old residents, who speak the same language with different words. The contributors that organize this session are members of this research-action project, and therefore for a few days of the week work as scholars, and during seasons or weekend act as commoners who work and live in Mas Blanco.