This work, which takes Garrett Hardin's essay "The Tragedy of the Commons" (Science, 1968) as its reference point, examines aspects of the public realm—whether much or little of it ought to be part of a free society; what problems a too abundant commons poses to governance; what alternatives can be implemented where the commons have posed serious obstacles to efficiency and justice—by looking at the following:
- What is the tragedy of the commons?
- Why is there a tragedy here?
- What is affected by the tragedy?
- Is there a way out of this tragedy?
- What is the proper scope of the public realm?
These and related matters are the topics contributors to this volume examine. The main insight shared is that human individuality, as a central element of human nature, needs to be properly accommodated in a system of community life, in law, and in public policy. Moreover, placing what arguably belongs within the realm of nonpolitical governance under the rubric of public management poses serious public policy problems.