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Research Methods & Objectives

1. Social Mapping of the Romanian Commons

  • Method: interviews with commons representatives-

  • Survey of 330 commons

The project aimed at describing the large variety of commons to be found across the Romanian Carpathians, investigating the following dimensions:

    a.Normative frameworks: ways of regulation of the commons, state laws and institutions, customary rules, and instruments of organizing access, monitoring and management

   b.Local practices:   associated with new forms of governance and use of the commons

  c.Relation to the environment;   practices of logging, pasturing, narratives of forests and pastures

2. Multi-sited Ethnography / Understanding the relation between commons and local livelihoods

  • Method: case-studies in selected locations: counties Gorj, Vâlcea, Argeș, Maramureș, Harghita, Vrancea

  • In each location in-depth interviews with over 20 commons members , key actors and commoners


The project aimed at understanding the role of the commons in the livelihoods of local Carpathian population by investigating:

  a.Transformative processes:  long-term human-forest histories with emphasis on new postsocialist property regimes and relationship to capitalist markets

    b.Benefits from the commons:   their place in local economic situations of households; grazing, firewood and construction timber benefits; commons investing in community utilities and the role in local development

   c.Practices of locals towards surrounding resources: effective ways of logging, wood collecting, grazing, foraging

   d.Social relationships between local community actors woven around the process of participation and empowerment

3. Documents Analysis / Archival research

>collecting and analyzing forestry maps, cadastral maps, members registers, budgets, regulatory statutes

>archival research in the National State Archives of Hunedoara county

4. Photographic Recording / Image Archive of the Commons

>creating a photographic archive of contemporary commons, by photographing persons related to commons governance, commoners, commons' assets and resources, events related to the commons, general assemblies


Locations where research was conducted:

**the stars represent roughly the areas where researach was conducted; the dots mark the localities where members live, while the commons' woodlands and pastures are positioned in the mountain area near the villages.

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