Shared patterns in long-term dynamics of commons as institutions for collective action

Mike Farjam, Tine De Moor, René van Weeren, Anders Forsman, Molood Ale Ebrahim Dehkordi, Amineh Ghorbani, Giangiacomo Bravo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


We present an analysis of regulatory activities in historical commons offering a unique picture of their long-term institutional dynamics. The analysis took into account almost 3,800 regulatory activities in eighteen European commons in two countries across seven centuries. Despite differences in time and space, we found a shared pattern where an initial, highly-dynamic institutional-definition phase was followed by a relatively long period of stability and a final burst of activities, possibly in an attempt to respond to new challenges. In addition, most of the initial regulatory activities focused on resource use, while towards the end other activities prevailed. Our approach allows for a better understanding of institutional dynamics and our findings also provide important insights about how to regulate the use of current natural resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of the Commons
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • ADICO framework
  • Historical commons
  • Institutional evolution
  • Rule change
  • Shared patterns


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