Transformation and diversity: Synthesis of the case studies

Haller, Tobias; Bertogliati, Mark; Liechti, Karina; Viallon, François-Xavier; Wunderli, Rahel (2021). Transformation and diversity: Synthesis of the case studies. In: Haller, Tobias; Liechti, Karina; Stuber, Martin; Viallon, François-Xavier; Wunderli, Rahel (eds.) Balancing the Commons in Switzerland. Institutional Transformations and Sustainable Innovations. Earthscan from Routledge (pp. 277-300). London: Routledge 10.4324/9781003043263

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Chapter 10, ‘Transformation and diversity: synthesis of the case studies’, provides a comparative analysis of the five commons regions discussed in the book. It outlines central points in the history of common property institutions, and their diversity focusing on central changes in politics and structural changes (development of state and bureaucracy, industrialisation, change in relative prices for agricultural and forest-related products and energy ages). The authors further discuss how political, economic and energy-related changes are currently affecting the five study regions. On the one hand, relative prices of common-pool resources are still decreasing, but on the other hand, pastures and forests are increasingly valued for their functional contribution to the ecosystem and landscape quality. Among the factors that explain local differences, they emphasise the role of history, political (power relations) and economic context, as well as culture and topography. The authors discuss the balancing strategies designed by commoners to adapt to the market context and show how the commoner’s organisations in Uri, Chur, Sarnen, Val d’Anniviers and Olivone are differently capable of balancing with market and state in terms of resilience and bargaining power. The chapter also offers a final conclusion regarding how the findings of this comparative study relate to global commons studies. It argues that Switzerland provides a lab for the bottom-up institution building by commoners’ organizations to cope with the challenges stemming from market and state.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Organization and Human Resource Management > Human Resource Management

UniBE Contributor:

Haller, Tobias, Bertogliati, Mark, Liechti, Karina, Viallon, François-Xavier, Wunderli Götschi, Rahel


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations




Earthscan from Routledge




[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds




Anja Julienne Wohlgemuth

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2022 15:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:15

Publisher DOI:





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