Displacement, Loss and Enclosure of the Commons: The Role of the Dutch East India Company

Potential of the Double Hermeneutic for Re-framing Epistemic Governance
  • Janet McIntyre-MillsEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


Giddens stressed in The Consequences of Modernity that trust is contingent and that risks escalate when transfers are disembedded from local contexts. This paper concentrates on the need to develop policy and praxis to protect the commons through a critical and systemic approach drawing on history, sociology and anthropology. The paper explores Inglehart’s (Modernization and postmodernization: cultural, economic and political change in 43 societies, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1997) notion of culture shift, Norvey et al.’s (International Sociology 32(6): 683–706, 2017) reflections on Inglehart’s thesis and Gidden’s (The consequences of modernity, Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, 1990) essay on the The Consequences of Modernity. The paper discusses how the potential for transformation rests with people who can bring about transformation of taken for granted epistemic policy networks that use so-called root metaphors to shape ‘what is inevitable’. Instead, the case is made through critical reflection to reconstruct narratives about current challenges that are framed in terms of the capability approach (Nussbaum, Creating capabilities: the human development approach, The Belknap Press, London, 2011). The paper underlines the importance of research to reframe concepts from above and below to protect and restore the commons. The paper responds to the cascading risks and consequences of modernity and makes a case for a new nonanthropocentric narrative based on our interconnectedness and shared fate. The containerist approach is critiqued by tracing the archetypes that have shaped history. The epistemic policies shaped a culture of profit. The paper explores the dualism, racism and speciesism that has underpinned the way in which governance has been framed. It makes a case for a new narrative based on sharing and reciprocity based on our shared fate. There is no ‘Planet B’ as Macron summed up recently in an address on a state visit to the USA (Macron, There is no Planet B. Address to United States Congress on 25th April, 2018).


Consequences of modernity Cascading Risk Connections Double hermeneutic Trust Regeneration 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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