Commons and Commodities explores how different kinds of common resources, such as information, culture, genes and land, are enclosed and commodified as private property, and how this affects people who use and manage those commons.
The project consists of three separate but intertwined studies. The first focuses on the enclosure of the Information Commons through the expansion of intellectual property rights. The second concerns Biopiracy: how companies patent traditional knowledge, for instance concerning the medical use of herbs and plants, which has previously been commonly used within indigenous groups. The third concerns Environmental Commons: how natural resources, generally perceived as common land, are appropriated by corporations. It focuses on local cases where mining projects on indigenous land in Scandinavia and Australia have provoked resistance from local people.
The project is conducted by Martin Fredriksson and Johanna Dahlin and runs between 2015 and 2018. It is supported by the Swedish Research Council and the Marie Skldowska Curie Actions under Grant E0633901 and has partly been conducted at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam.