These three chapters reflect the growing maturity of research on the commons. From the start, commons research was addressing core issues in social theory by examining the balance between altruism and self-interest and the alternative ways in which people might be rational. The rich theoretical and empirical work that followed allows even more complex questions about emergence, transformation, and dynamics to be raised. This entrains some theoretical approaches at the cutting edge of the social sciences: complexity theory, event ecology, and cultural evolutionary theory. Although these chapters are only the opening lines, they hold promise of a very exciting next act in the drama of the commons.

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