Establishing a CPP

Establishing a CPP requires commoners to articulate their needs and interests, and reconcile them with state power through a CPP. The inevitable Ontoclash between State and Commoners (as two systems of power and culture) must be resolved through a challenging, stepwise process assisted, if possible, through available legal forms. Remember: there is no panacea or off-the-shelf solution, but here are useful templates for enacting CPPs.

- **STEP 1**: Commoners with shared needs, problems and challenges articulate their concerns in a **CPP initial statement**. [OR SHOULD WE CALL IT. CPP WANTED-STATEMENT? DB: No, doesn't work in English. A "wanted poster" is a police poster with a suspected criminal profiled.] It is the initial document of any CPP Process. - **STEP 2**: Based on this collective statement, the commoners draft a **charter of commoning** outlining their values, practices, organizing structure, and general approach. This functions as a **social covenant** of shared purpose and commitment, which may well conflict with existing law and state priorities (In this stage, the dimensions of the Ontoclash become apparent).

- **STEP 3**: Members of the commons and state officials meet in a neutral space to **negotiate** an agreement. The precondition for negotiations is **respect and recognition** for a) the legitimacy of the commons based on the collective statement and the charter; and b) respect for the needs of the other party despite obvious differences and conflicting priorities between the two. The relations between state & commoners resemble the diplomatic protocols among sovereign states, which are designed to assure safe, respectful, interstitial spaces for each party to exist and function. (This is the zone in which the Ontoclash is discussed and overcome.)

- **STEP 4**: All parties to a CPP negotiation develop **a shared CPP protocol** which is the basis for cooperation. At a minimum, this protocol contains the following elements: 1) political recognition of the partner, independent of any existing legal form; [DB: a nation's constitutional law may not allow this, however -- the recognition of a competing "sovereign" within the nation-state's territory!] 2) agreed-upon rules of communication between the partners; 3) good-faith negotiation to come to terms with each other's key priorities.

- **STEP 5**. The stakeholders together elaborate a **shared convenant** (Template of a CPP Convenant), which formalizes the above elements while enumerating the tasks and responsibilities of all parties involved. - **STEP 6**. Commoners receive a CPP Chartering Statute (see below)

- **STEP 7**: A **regular, ritualized process is established for ratifying the charter of commoning, CPP protocol, shared convenant, and CPP Chartering Statute**: All parties openly share the terms of the agreement, celebrate them, and affirm them (as necessary) in standard legal venues.

[DB: This discussion sidesteps the potential legal complications or barriers to recognizing a commons or CPP, esp. if a novel legal or institutional form is needed. Cf. James Scott and the state's jealousy of its authority and control imperatives.]

A CPP can be seen as consisting of three key elements: the charter of commoning (or community charter), the protocol of negotiation, and the CPP-convenant. [DB: But a moment ago you noted FOUR elements. This is starting to feel complicated. Maybe the shared convent & chartering statute should be the focus; the other elements are preparatory or procedural.] These elements and documents are enacted, connected to each other and adapted over time [[by the initial statement, the attitude of negotiation DB--??? I don't get this....] and the ritualized process of reconfirmation and renewal.

Steps 1 - 3 may serve as a vehicle for innovating new legal forms for commoning (as part of a CPP) if they do not yet exist and no legal hack is suitable.