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Commons and the Public Domain


  • Antoine Dolcerocca
  • Benjamin Coriat


This article critically examines the concepts of the commons and the public domain as developed in the literature on law and economics, and in the legal literature on intellectual property. It aims to accomplish two things: reviewing the literature laying out diverse meanings associated with these terms and reintroducing them into radical political economy. The study of the commons and the public domain have long been neglected in the area of radical political economy, and the way these concepts have been developed in the literature reviewed is only marginally relevant to problems and methods of political economy. This article argues for a reassessment and redefinition of the commons and the public domain from the standpoint of radical political economy, and proposes a research agenda for the commons.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Dolcerocca & Benjamin Coriat, 2016. "Commons and the Public Domain," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 127-139, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:48:y:2016:i:1:p:127-139

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    commons; public domain; tangible property; intellectual property;

    JEL classification:

    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism


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