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Call for abstracts for 1st IASC Thematic Conference on Urban Commons (Bologna, Italy, 6-7 November 2015); deadline for abstracts 9 August 2015

The Laboratory for the Governance of Commons (LABGOV) and the Urban Law Center of Fordham University invite you to submit your abstract for the 1st IASC Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons, to be held in Bologna (Italy), 6-7 November 2015. Inspired by the recently implemented Bologna Regulation on Collaboration for the Care and Regeneration of the Urban Commons, as well as by other commons-based experiments in cities around Italy by the LabGov project (e.g. Co-Mantova, Co-Battipaglia, and Co-Palermo), this conference will bring together leading scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and social innovators to take stock of the developments in the interdisciplinary study of the urban commons and related questions of urban governance. The conference will focus on six different thematic tracks. Abstracts (500 words max.) should be submitted before  10 August 2015.  > Click here for the call for papers > Click here for the conference webpage

New book on 'The Dilemma of the Commoners' published

In its Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions Series, Cambridge University Press just published a new book by Tine De Moor, entitled The Dilemma of the Commoners. Understanding the Use of Common Pool Resources in Long-Term Perspective. In this book, De Moor addresses one of the classic problems in social science, known as 'the dilemma of the commons', in which land, water, and other resources held jointly by social or economic segments tend to be depleted sooner and to a greater extent than privately held assets. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many aspects of western European society changed fundamentally, including the abolition of common-property rights, which in itself was related to social and economic shifts in that same society. This book intends to put the debate on commons, commoners, and the disappearance of both throughout early modern and modern northwestern Europe in a new light, through new approaches and innovative methodologies, linking also the historical debate about the long-term evolution of commons to the present-day debates on common-pool resources, as well as touching upon various disciplines within the social sciences that work on commons issues. > Click here for the publishers webpage   > Click here for the Google Scholar page on this book

IASC announces 5 new conferences for 2015-2017

At the XV IASC Biennial Conference, which was held in Edmonton last month, the IASC has announced 5 new conferences to be held within the next two years. The first conference will be the 1st IASC Thematic Conference on Urban Commons, to be held in Bologna, 6-7 November 2015, and hosted by The Laboratory for the Governanca of Commons (LABGOV) and the Urban Law Center of Fordham University. The call for papers for this conference has been issued recently (see announcement at top of page). Other conferences that have been announced are:

> IASC Regional Conference (Europe), Bern (Switzerland), 10-13 May 2016

> 3rd IASC Thematic Conference on Knowledge Commons, Paris (France), 20-21 October 2016

> IASC Regional Conference (N. America/Arctic), Anchorage, Alaska (USA), Fall 2016

> XVI IASC Biennial Meeting, Utrecht (The Netherlands), 10-14 July 2017

Click here to download an overview of all IASC-conferences 2015-2017

Research Team Institutions for Collective Action and Strategic Research Theme 'Institutions' of Utrecht University to host XVI IASC Biennial Conference (10-14 July 2017)

Recently, the Council of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), has granted the organization of the XVI IASC Biennial Conference to the Research Team Institutions for Collective Action and the Strategic Research Theme 'Institutions', both based at Utrecht University. The XVI IASC Biennial Conference will be held from July 10-July 14, 2017 in the historical city centre of Utrecht. The central theme of this conference will be 'Practicing the Commons', focusing on the interaction between academic knowledge and practitioners' expertise and experience. The time schedule for submitting abstracts etc. is already available at the conference website; mote info will be available in due time. > Conference website

New related projects on common-pool insitutions

Recently, a new related project was added to our website. The project, Cooperation and institutions for collective action: an exploration into the potential of social network analysis to disclose differences among CPR/village commons in the Alps-Adriatic region, is coordinated by our new team member Romina Rodela, based at Södertörn University and will be funded by a Seed Grant of Utrecht University's Strategic Theme 'Institutions'. The project aims to bring together social network analysis combined with other methodologies from experimental sociology and integrated with historical research to undertake an exploratory study into common pool institutions in Central and Eastern Europe.  

New publication on an evolutionary perspective on war heroism

Team member Charlotte Störmer co-authored (togerther with Hannes Rusch of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany) the article entitled 'An evolutionary perspective on war heroism', which was published in the latest issue of the Dutch militairy scientific journal Militaire Spectator. Based on a dataset which contains selected characteristics of 988 modern war heroes (the US-American Medal of Honor recipients of WWI, WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam War), Rusch and Störmer discuss whether an evolutionary perspective can help us understand why these men risked their lives ‘beyond the call of duty’. The research for this article also forms part of the research on longevity within the VIDI-project 'Nature or Nurture'. Click here for the article

Felix Meier zu Selhausen promoted to PhD at Utrecht University

On May 8, affiliated reseacher Felix Meier zu Selhausen succesfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled  'Women's Empowerment in Uganda: Colonial Roots and Contemporary Efforts, 1894-2012' at Utrecht University. In the first part of his thesis, he focuses on the 'prolongued 20th century' and the long-term-development of human capital formation,occupational skills, labour market participation, intergenerational social mobility, and marraige patterns, of both men and women. In the second part of his thesis Meier zu Selhausen indicates the challenges women on small farms in the Ugandan countryside are facing nowadays, basing his findings on a massive survey performed in Western Uganda. He also questions whether micro-financing could improve the social position of small farmers and whether collective action could help to improve the economic and social status of Ugandan women. The full text of his dissertation will be available online form November 8, 2015 onwards. > Link to Utrecht University theses repository

Panel session on ‘Accountable commons’, EURHO Rural History Conference 2015 (Girona, 7-10 September 2015)

The EURHO Rural History Conference 2015 will take place from 7-10 September 2015 in Girona, Spain, and will be jointly hosted by the Spanish Agricultural History Society (SEHA) and the Rural History Research Centre of the University of Girona (CRHR). The EURHO conference is an invaluable opportunity to present and know the current research stage in different thematic and chronological areas of rural history, a branch of historical knowledge where teamwork, the comparative perspective and interdisciplinary dialogue have a long tradition. Panel # 28, ‘Accountable commons. Rural communities and accounting records in historical perspective’, will be organized by affiliated researcher Josemiguel Lana (Public University of Navarra, Pamplona) and Allessandra Burgarelli (University of Naples Federico II), which panel will focus on research possibilities on commons’ accounting records. > Conference website

Session 'Evolution in History', World Economic History Congress 2015 (Kyoto, Japan)

Team members Charlotte Störmer, Tine De Moor, and Anita Boele will organize a session entitled 'Evolution in History: Applying Biological and Demographic Concepts to Explain Economic Decision Making in Global History' at the WEHC 2015, which will be held in Kyoto on 3-7 August 2015. In this session, the focus will be on the emergence and role of institutions from an interdisciplinary perspective, including both macro-level institutions, such as religious, political, or administrative structures, as well as micro-level institutions, such as the family or community, of which many have contributed to the cultural, social, and economic structure of a region, population, or country in a particular period and thereby influenced the demographic or economic trajectories of nations, or indeed wider regions.  > Conference website

Secretariat of IASC moves from Mexico to Utrecht

As of July 1, 2015, the IASC Secretariat will move from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) to Utrecht University. Also, there will be a shift of personell, as René van Weeren will be the new Exceutive Director of the IASC from that date onwards, succeeding the current Executive Director Siomone Buratti. The new correspondence address will be: IASC, att. René van Weeren, Drift 6, 3512 BS, Utrecht, The Netherlands, phone +31 (0)30 253 63 28. The e-mail address will remain the same (iasc@iasc-commons.org), as well as the statutory address, as the IASC formally remains a US-based organziation.  > IASC-website

XVth Biennial International Conference IASC held in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), May 25-29, 2015

On 25-29 May 2015, the 15th Biannual International Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) was held at the in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), hosted by the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Native Studies of the University of Alberta, in cooperaion with the Treat 8 First Nations of Canada. The 2015 conference focused on many kinds of common pool resources including fisheries, forests, and water resources as well as on emergent problems of social and environmental change. Participants in the conference shared ideas, evidence, and practical solutions on questions of poverty, food security, social-ecological resilience, effective governance, human rights, FLOG knowledge, etc.. Click here for more info