Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy – P2P Foundation

This entry is about the forthcoming book “Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy” co-authored by Vasilis Kostakis and Michel Bauwens. The scholarly book is published by Palgrave Macmillan and here you may find a working draft of it: The discussion about is continuing on the P2P Foundation email list, the Networked Labour email list and in personal email exchanges at kostakis.b AT and/or michel AT


The aim of this book is not to provide yet another critique of capitalism but rather to contribute to the ongoing dialogue for post-capitalist construction, and to discuss how another world could be possible. We build on the idea that peer-to-peer infrastructures are gradually becoming the general conditions of work, economy, and society, considering peer production as a social advancement within capitalism but with various post-capitalistic aspects in need of protection, enforcement, stimulation and connection with progressive social movements. Using a four-scenario approach, we attempt to simplify possible outcomes and to explore relevant trajectories of the current techno-economic paradigm within and beyond capitalism. The first part of the book begins with an introduction (chapters 1 and 2) of the techno-economic paradigm shifts theory, which sees capitalism as a creative destruction process. Such a dynamic, innovation-based understanding of economic and societal development arguably allows for an integral bird’s-eye-view of future scenarios (chapter 3) within and beyond the dominant system. Sharing the conviction that the globalized economy is at a critical turning point, we describe the four future scenarios; namely, netarchical capitalism, distributed capitalism, resilient communities and global Commons. Netarchical and distributed capitalism (chapters 4 and 5) are parts of the wider value mode of cognitive capitalism and form, what we call “the mixed model of neo-feudal cognitive capitalism” (chapter 6). On the other hand, the resilient communities (chapter 7) and the global Commons (chapter 8) reside in the hypothetical model of mature peer production under civic dominance. We postulate that the mature peer production communities pose a sustainable alternative to capital accumulation, that of the circulation of the Commons. Hence, we make some tentative transition proposals towards a Commons-based economy and society for the state, the market and the civic domain (chapter 9). Finally, we conclude with remarks and suggestions for future actions.



1. Capitalism as a creative destruction system

2. Beyond the end of history: Three competing value models

3. The P2P infrastructures: Two axes and four quadrants


4. Netarchical capitalism

5. Distributed capitalism

6. The social dynamics of the mixed model of neo-feudal cognitive capitalism


7. Resilient communities

8. Global Commons

9. Transition proposals towards a Commons-oriented economy and society


via Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy – P2P Foundation.


One thought on “Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy – P2P Foundation

  1. Pingback: Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Coll...

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