Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1995


Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


Is tragedy due to over harvesting an inevitable consequence of the voluntary action of cooperation in a commons? No. Actually, commons theory resolved this question several decades ago. Such common goods are those pursued jointly by pluralities less than the dominant majority controlling the state and its unique ability to define public goods. In an era when the state has proven relatively powerless to define unambiguous public goods and public policy making is largely circumscribed in terms of a competition among interest groups, the state itself has become a major producer of common, rather than genuinely public, goods.

Source Citation

An earlier version of this statement was published in a 1995 newsletter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE).



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