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Natural Resource Governance around the World

The Commons Revolution and Law

New land issues in Africa, America and Europe

Written by: Étienne Le Roy

Writing date:

Type of document: Presentation of a book or a document / reading note

Documents of reference

Le Roy, Étienne. (2021) La révolution des communs et le droit. Nouveaux enjeux fonciers en Afrique, Amérique et Europe.

Éditions science et bien commun 3-855 avenue Moncton Québec (Québec) G1S 2Y4

This book has received the support of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind. It is published under a Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 4.0


The last two books written by Etienne Le Roy were «  The commons revolution and law  » and «  Why and how did the juridicity of the commons impose itself on our work on land issues? ".

This particular work could only be published after his death. We are grateful to his wife Jacqueline Le Roy for providing us with the link to the Editions Science et bien commun of Quebec which published it, under a licence which allows us to offer it here for download. (link at the bottom of the page)

Etienne was a member of AGTER, and he had been, since the beginning of the association, one of the main inspirers behind our collective reflection.

As Frédéric Sultan and Camille Laurent, from the collective Remix the Commons, point out in the preface:

«  There are no commons without legal pluralism. Étienne Le Roy recognises that legal processes are produced when commons are put into practice. Better still, he explains that these practices and the law that results from them are legitimate and complementary to state law (droit positif) ".

They remind us that «  Legal pluralism, i.e. the recognition of the diversity of sources of law, and juridicity, defined as the capacity of actors to produce their own rules, desacralise the law by making it possible to understand its nature and modes of production, while control (maîtrise in French) and mediation provide interpretive tools to ilustrate primo and neo-commons. The text presented in this book and Étienne Le Roy’s contributions to the anthropology of law invite us to resituate law in a political perspective and to turn it into a field of social struggle, which Étienne Le Roy made concrete through his involvement in the Land Tenure and Development Technical Committee} ".

Below you will find the table of contents of this book (in French).

Translation from French to English: Niels Zwarteveen

Table des matières

  • Prélude. (Frédéric Sultan et Camille Laurent)

  • Préface. (Frédéric Sultan et Camille Laurent)

  • Remerciements

  • Pour mieux faire connaissance. L’itinéraire d’un rebelle discipliné

  • Introduction générale. Revisiter notre conception du droit

Partie I. Des communs « hors la loi »

1. L’originalité juridique des communs

2. La logique du « faire » et la contribution d’une iconologie juridique à la juridicité des primo-communs fonciers

3. Conclusion. Passer de l’état de l’art aux données de terrains

Partie II. Des néo-communs en construction ou l’apprentissage de la compatibilité des communs fonciers avec le droit

4. Des communs contestés, un État africain en échec Le chantier avorté de la décolonisation juridique des politiques foncières, exemple du Mali

5. Des héritages à préserver. Néo-communs aux Comores et chez les Premières Nations du Canada

6. Ici et maintenant. Les habitus des Laboureurs du Vermandois à la lumière d’un nouveau droit des communs

7. Conclusion. De la procrastination dans les politiques juridiques

Conclusion générale

  • Bibliographie générale

  • Autres ouvrages de l’auteur sur le même sujet

  • Liste des tableaux et figure

  • À propos des Éditions science et bien commun


La révolution des communs et le droit de Étienne Le Roy est sous une licence License Creative Commons Attribution - Partage dans les mêmes conditions 4.0 International, sauf indication contraire.

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