Brett M. Frischmann
Professor of Law
I have long been drawn to the interdisciplinary research on commons.  Commons are essentially resource management/governance institutions that enable sustainable shared use of certain resources within a community.  Much of my research agenda has been focused on commons in a variety of settings and with respect to different types of resources.  In fact, my first academic talk was about environmental, information, and Internet commons and the lessons that could potentially be mapped from one area to the others.

Currently, two tracks of my research agenda are focused on commons.  One concerns infrastructure commons, which is the subject of my recent book, Infrastructure:  The Social Value of Shared Resources.  You can find out more about that project here.

The second track focuses on commons in the cultural environment, sometimes called knowledge commons.  This is a collaborative project that I have been working on with Michael Madison and Katherine Strandburg.  We wrote a foundational article, Constructing Commons in the Cultural Environment, that developed a research framework for systematically studying cultural/information/research commons.  Along with many others, we have begun to put the framework to use in a series of case studies.  The  Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons website provides much more detail about our growing interdisciplinary and international collaboration.

Our work in this area relies heavily on the work of the late Elinor Ostrom.  Her mentorship, support for and contributions to this project have been invaluable.  For more, see my article, Two Enduring Lessons from Elinor Ostrom, published in the Journal of Institutional Economics.I have gathered materials related to that project below, but more information is available at the Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons site.

Governing Knowledge Commons (Oxford University Press 2014) (with Michael Madison, University of Pittsburgh, and Katherine Strandburg, NYU).  [OUP; Amazon]

Medical Research Commons Conference, NYU (May 2014) (major interdisciplinary conference).

Convening Cultural Commons, NYU School of Law, Sept. 23-24, 2011 (major interdisciplinary conference).
Special Issue:  Constructing Commons in the Cultural Environment, Cornell Law Review (2010) (with Michael Madison, University of Pittsburgh, and Katherine Strandburg, NYU).
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