A Tale of Two Commons: Some Preliminary Hypotheses on the Long-Term Development of the Commons in Western and Eastern Europe, 1000-1900

Laborda, M. and De Moor, T.

In this article we offer a broad explanatory framework for the divergence in the development of institutions for collective action, in particular commons, in Eastern and Western Europe. The latter area was particularly early with the development of collective arrangements of natural resource management. We explain on the one hand the rapid and intensive development of such institutions west of the Elbe and on the other hand the rather slow and less intensive development on the eastern side.