Common assets and the ethics of responsibility
Article published in the Ethique publique’ journal, volume 17, n° 2, 2015
In the era of global irreversible interdependencies, the issue of the commons confronts the questions of governance and responsibility. The systemic transition to sustainable societies obliges us to question the conceptual reference framework of the Western modernity: the territorial conception of the sovereign State, the individual rights of ownership, the game of a globalized market, the insufficiency of the human rights approach. Essential conceptual and institutional breaks pass by the recognition of our ‘community of destiny’ in the management of the commons and of the need of an ethics of universal responsibility, beyond the frame of the national community, proportional to the knowledge and power of each social actor, the ‘hidden face of the human rights’. At the same time, rebuilding the governance of the commons calls for the establishment of regimes of governance adapted to the diversity of the commons and of the territories, multi-stakeholder governance regimes, a ‘functional’ ownership of natural resources, an active citizenship based on solidarity.
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