Common Goods and Political Participation in Rome

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Seminarraum 5C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Massimiliano RUZZEDDU, University Niccolo Cusano Rome, Italy
The phrase Common Goods has a double meaning: on one side, it denotes cases of active citizenship, where organized groups manage public commodities like community gardens, abandoned buildings etc. Generally speaking, the social actors involved are groups of neighbors or friends, just aiming to improve the life of their communities, with very little consideration for global or universal social-political issues.

On the other side, this phrase refers to a criterion of interpretation of the world and orientation of collective action, aiming to a radical change of the current social order. In other words, the Common Goods theory has become a theoretical reference for a large number of activist groups, which are trying to propose a different kind of organization for the social activities of wealth production and distribution.

However, the two categories sometimes overlap and, since the years 2010s, there have been many examples of public commodities, such as dismissed theaters or abandoned buildings, managed by groups of activists, whose aim is not only to give a contribution to their own community, but also to imagine and realize different ways of social and economic organization. 

My presentation will focus on the main cases of this category that have taken place in Rome, like Teatro Valle and Cinema America and their evolution though the time.

Namely, trough a content analysis of their on line activity a well as interviews to privileged witnesses, I will try to assess if now the CG theory is still an important instrument of sense-making, like it used to be a few years ago, or if the involved actors rely on other theoretical references to define themselves and their political/social aims.