Farmland as a “Common”? Two Case Studies Regarding Sustainable Farming in Northern Italy

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Abstract

Eco-sustainable and ethical farming initiatives arising from civil society have had an increasing popularity all over the world in recent decades, and Italy is no exception to this trend. This contribution is aimed at presenting two significant case studies from this country concerning sustainable and ethical farming, one of which is a uniquely Italian experience. What I argue is that it is possible to see the main features of the theory of the so-called “environmental commons” as the ethical-legal basis in the background of these initiatives. Through a sort of inductive approach of research, the examination of the two case studies offers the possibility to propose a more general inquiry, i.e. to question whether and how these experiences can be expressive of a new conception of farmland, which can be labeled as “farmland as a common”.

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