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

Maps are important.
Maps are important.

Interview with president of obștea Dobroneagu, com. Braduleț, Argeș county. February 2016.

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Interviews in Petrova, Maramures.
Interviews in Petrova, Maramures.

Research includes 6 case-studies. In-depth interviews with a large number of commoners. @ 2016 Arryn Snowball

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Map from forest management plan.
Map from forest management plan.

Data collection includes maps, old and new documents. This forestry map comes from composesorat Iscroni 2000, Aninoasa, Hunedoara county. @Monica Vasile 2016

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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.