The Image Fallacy: Rethinking the Tragedy of the Commons
An image is what we have in our head and what we make up in an allegory, a name, a metaphor, a text, a map or in a drawing. None of these should be confused with the thing that is being imagined. They are not the real thing, just our imaginations of it. Still, we could not do without them, for instance when governing small-scale fisheries. They make us understand what we are up to and the track we are on. I argue, however, that we need a more playful attitude to them. We must avoid being locked in one image, like that of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. The image may lead us astray, ignoring the things that matter to the wellbeing of the millions of small-scale fisheries people around the world whose lives are dependent on a healthy resource base as well as functioning communities and a governance system that works for them. The paper draws heavily on philosophical thought from ancient to modern times as well as interactive governance research from 2000 onwards.
CitationJentoft. The Image Fallacy: Rethinking the Tragedy of the Commons. International Journal of the Commons. 2023;17(1):174-183
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