Tragedies without Commons

Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (1):81-94 (2011)

Authors
Christopher Morgan-Knapp
State University of New York at Binghamton
Abstract
Commons problems are, understandably enough, typically thought to be problems about commons. In this paper, however, I argue that what generates some prominent examples of commons problems is not open access to a good. Instead, what generates some commons problems is a conflict of values that have different structures. After making this case, I show how the existence of such problems can motivate a version of the Precautionary Principle and a (qualified) rejection of cost-benefit analysis.
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