Construction of the Environmental Problems: Biblio-Metric Analyses of the "Tragedy of the Commons"

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: 315
Distributed Paper
Keiko HIRAO , Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Sophia Univeristy, Tokyo, Japan
“The Tragedy of the Commons” is frequently cited as a model to explain how resources with open access are destined to deplete as a result of rational individual’s actions. The original neo-Marthusian message of the metaphor however, has been largely forgotten. This paper explores how the frame of  “environmental issues” has changed over the years by tracing the citation trends of the original paper written by Hardin in 1968. The data used in the analyses are the 4,330 bibliographic records that cited Hardin’s article identified in the Web of Knowledge. The results show an exponential increase in the number of citations especially after the 1990s. The scope of disciplines related to environmental studies also expanded after the year 2000. The proliferation and popularization of the metaphor indicate the decoupling of population problems through the changes in the frame of environmental discourse that synchronized with the trends in global environmental politics.