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The Car and the Commons


  • Daniel Newman


This paper discusses the centrality of the automobile to experiencing modern life. Access to a car is considered essential to access vital services and, as such, automobile usage plays a crucial role in commoning. However, this is said to draw lines of inclusion and exclusion premised on financial status, which particularly excludes those in rural areas. Such issues are especially acute at a time when electric cars are being promoted as a sustainable transport, which actually contains the potential to further marginalize the less affluent, rendering matters of access questions of class. The paper concludes by suggesting that more attention need be given to alternatives from private car ownership, focusing on communal usages.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Newman, 2016. "The Car and the Commons," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 53-65, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:48:y:2016:i:1:p:53-65

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    More about this item


    commons; cars; electric vehicles; rural; zemiology;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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