Common Ownership and Equality of Autonomy

By di Robilant, Anna | McGill Law Journal, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Common Ownership and Equality of Autonomy


di Robilant, Anna, McGill Law Journal


In recent years, common ownership has enjoyed unprecedented favour among policy-makers and citizens in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Conservation land trusts, affordable-housing co-operatives, community gardens, and neighbourhood-managed parks are spreading throughout major cities. Normatively, these common-ownership regimes are seen as yielding a variety of benefits, such as a communitarian ethos in the efficient use of scarce resources, or greater freedom to interact and create in new ways. The design of common-ownership regimes, however, requires difficult trade-offs. Most importantly, successful achievement of the goals of common-ownership regimes requires the limitation of individual co-owners' ability to freely use the common resource, as well as to exit the common-ownership arrangement.

This article makes two contributions. First, at the normative level, it argues that common ownership has the potential to help foster greater "equality of autonomy". By "equality of autonomy", I mean more equitable access to the material and relational means that allow individuals to be autonomous. Second, at the level of design, this article argues that the difficult trade-offs of common-ownership regimes should be dealt with by grounding the commitment to equality of autonomy in the context of specific resources. In some cases, this resource-specific design helps to minimize or avoid difficult trade-offs. In hard cases, where trade-offs cannot be avoided, this article offers arguments for privileging greater equality of autonomy over full negative freedom.

Au cours de ces dernieres annees, la propriete commune a joui d'un avantage sans precedent aupres des decideurs politiques et des citoyens des Etats-Unis, du Canada et d'Europe. Le nombre de fiducies de preservation de terrains, de logements abordables, de cooperatives, de jardins communaux et de parcs geres par des quartiers est en croissance dans toutes les grandes villes. D'un point de vue normatif, ces regimes de proprietes communes impliquent de nombreux benefices, comme l'esprit communautaire de l'utilisation efficace de ressources peu abondantes, ou la plus grande liberte d'interagir et de creer de facons nouvelles. La conception du regime de propriete commune, cependant, demande des compromis difficiles. Plus important encore, pour atteindre avec succes les objectifs des regimes de propriete commune, il faut limiter la capacite des coproprietaires individuels a utiliser la ressource commune librement ainsi que celle de sortir de l'arrangement de propriete commune.

Cet article a deux roles. Premierement, au niveau nermatif, il presente l'argument que la propriete commune a le potentiel d'encourager une plus grande << egalite d'autonomie >>. Par << egalite d'autonomie >>, je veux dire un acces plus equitable aux moyens relationnels et materiels qui permettent a un individu detre autonome. Deuxiemement, au niveau de la conception, cet article avance que les compromis difficiles des regimes de propriete commune devraient etre geres en renforcant l'engagement a l'egalite d'autonomie dans le contexte de ressources specifiques. Dans certains cas, cette conception contextuelle pour les ressources specifiques aide a minimiser ou eviter de durs compromis. Dans les cas difficiles ou les compromis ne peuvent etre evites, cet article offre des arguments pour privilegier une plus grande egalite d'autonomie plutot que des libertes negatives completes.

Introduction

  I. The Commons Debate
     A. Antitragedy Views and the Benefits of Common
        Ownership
     B. The Fundamental Design Problem of Common
        Ownership: The Trade-Off Between Different
        Kinds of Freedom

 II. The Debate of Collective Ownership on Nineteenth-Century
        Europe
     A. Changing Attitudes Toward Collective Ownership
     B. The Italian Bill on the Reorganization of Land
        Collective and the Commitment to Equality of
        Autonomy
III. … 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Common Ownership and Equality of Autonomy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.