The Expanses of Sustainability and the Limits of Privatarianism Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractA review of contributions to the resource conservation literature shows that sustainability problems are seen as caused by “common property.” This “tragedy of the commons” is understood as the result of the failure to assign fully property rights to individuals. The supporting assumptions and premises to these “privatarian” arguments are explicated and examined. After refuting the main premises, it is argued that the application of neoclassical assumptions and premises overlooks other legitimate forms of ownership as effective solutions to the tragedy of the commons. In revisiting other categories of ownership, the limits of privatarianism are identified and the prospects for solutions to sustainability problems are expanded.

publication date

  • June 1997