Commons and the Public Domain: A Review Article and a Tentative Research Agenda

Dolcerocca A., Coriat B.

REVIEW OF RADICAL POLITICAL ECONOMICS, vol.48, no.1, pp.127-139, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0486613415586990
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.127-139
  • Keywords: commons, public domain, tangible property, intellectual property
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


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.