School of Law

Michel Bauwens

Interview with Michel Bauwens (Peer to Peer Foundation)

Talking to the School of Law’s Dr Peter Doran, Bauwens describes the work of his Peer-to-Peer Foundation and explores the significance of the re-emergence of ‘the commons’ and ‘commoning’ for society, the economy, law and the state.

Bauwens sees global digital networks enabling people to reconnect and form new types of commons that belong neither to the state nor the private sector. Instead they constitute what Bauwens describes as ‘the core’ of a hyper-productive social and ethical economy.

He adds: “My vision is of more and more citizens enabling themselves, reorganising their provisioning systems and social life (e.g. through co-ops, food co-ops, collective purchasing, consumer-assisted agriculture). This is a re-emergence of the commons as a category so that civil society comes into its own as a productive and ethical force. This is a new and emergent reality…enormously liberating for governments who can now break out of the public-private binary and re-imagine the role of the state as an enabling partner, enabling individual and social autonomy and a social and ethical economy.”