The Politics of Inner Space: Tragedies of Three Commons


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    The tragedy of the commons is now a widely used allegory on the problems of collective action. This paper shows, however, that generalizations from the original story to other applications are dangerous. This is because several key properties of a common influence the most appropriate method of avoiding the tragedy. The argument is developed using discussion of three space commons. These are the broadcasting frequency spectrum, the geostationary satellite orbit and the Moon. Each has different properties that involve different tragedies and invite different solutions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)59-71
    Number of pages13
    JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1984

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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