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Repair matters

Repair has visibly come to the fore in recent academic and policy debates, to the point that ‘repair studies’ is now emerging as a novel focus of research. Through the lens of repair, scholars with diverse backgrounds are coming together to rethink our relationships with the human-made matters, tools and objects that are the material mesh in which organisational life takes place as a political question.

Becoming a commoner: The commons as sites for affective socio-nature encounters and co-becomings


Let us begin with the story of a pasture ‘open to all’ and the herdsman and his herd of sheep that Garrett Hardin uses to illustrate his prediction of the ‘tragedy of the commons’. Hardin’s herdsman, as a ‘rational being’, strives to maximize his gains by adding sheep to his herd until his actions inevitably lead to the degradation of the common grazing pasture (Hardin, 1968). In this ‘mini-maxi’ model of humans, where humans are seen to minimize efforts or inputs and maximize returns (Graeber, 2001: 6), the affective life of the shepherd is muted.

The return of the housing question


On 2 April 2007, New Century Financial, one of the largest corporate lenders of so-called ‘sub-prime mortgages’ in the United States, filed for bankruptcy after an unusually high number of homeowners defaulted early on their mortgages. Although the warning signs had been there for almost a decade, with the high rate of foreclosures particularly among low-income African-American home owners (see Rivera et al, 2008), New Century’s collapse heralded a major escalation in the US housing crisis.

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