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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

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

Two new related projects on commons and cooperatives

Recently, two new related projects were added to our website. The first 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 affiliated researcher Romina Rodela of 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. The second project, 'Civil society facing crisis: voluntary associations and social movements in Portugal (1890-1933)', led by affiliated postdoc researcher Joana Dias Pereira of the Institute for Contemporary History of the New University of Lisbon, aims to explore the unprecedented dissemination of mutual-aid and cooperative societies in Portugal from 1890, a process disrupted by the dictatorship and the imposition of a corporative regime in 1933, and aspires to integrate the Portuguese case study in the international discussions over contemporary civil society, scrutinizing institutional change in the long term and institutionalized collective action role during crisis.

New publication on regulation of Dutch commons

René van Weeren and  Tine de Moor jointly published an article in the Agricultural History Review. In this article, the authors focus on the ways in which Dutch commoners in the early modern period sought to guarantee the resilience and longevity of their commons. To this purpose, the authors analyzed the historical regulations of the commons (which have been laid down over centuries in the so-called markenboeken), by looking at the design of regulations against unauthorized use, the interaction of those rules with internal and external developments, and the effect that various forms of penalty may have had on the behaviour of commoners. Click here for the article

Tine De Moor new President of The International Association for the Study of the Commons

Recently, Tine de Moor was installed as the new President of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC). On January 15, she took over the tasks of Immediate Past-President Leticia Merino. Tine De Moor currently is Professor of Institutions for Collective Action in Historical Perspective at Utrecht University. She has been involved in organizing the first European IASC-meeting in Brescia (2006) and has been a member of the IASC Executive Council from 2008 onwards. Together with Erling Berge she was the co-founder and (until July 2008) editor of the International Journal of the Commons. Click here for more info

Call for papers 'Von der Allmende zur Share Economy' ['From the commons to a share-economy'] - deadline 31 March 2015

The editors of the 15th volume of the German 'Kritische Reihe' series, Malte Gruber (J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main) and Daniel Schläppi (Berne University), welcome paper proposals for this volume, entitled 'Von der Allmende zur Share Economy. Gemeinbesitz und kollektive Ressourcen in historischer und rechtlicher Perspektive [From the commons to the share-economy. Common-property and common-pool resources in historical and legal perspective]', which will be published in Fall 2015. In accordance with the objective of the 'Kritische Reihe' Series, the editors would like to combine empirical case studies with theoretical views from various disciplines on historical, cultural, and legal issues of commons, common-property, common-pool resources, and the share-economy. The composition process of this volume will also comprise a workshop, to be held in Frankfurt/Main, 3-4 July 2015, Paper proposals, including an abstract and a short bibliography are due by 31 March 2015. Click here for Call for papers [in German]

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

Call for proposals Regional and/or Thematic Conferences IASC - extended deadline

The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) is now accepting preliminary proposals from individuals/organizations interested in hosting IASC Regional or Thematic Conferences for 2016-2017. IASC Conferences bring together scholars and practitioners from around the world on specific regional commons themes or on specific regions, with a typical size of 100-120 participants, from numerous countries. If you are interested in organizing an IASC Regional or Thematic Conference, please submit your proposal identifying your interests. All proposals are due by 31 March 2015.  > Call for Proposals

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

XVth Biannual International Conference IASC to be held in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), May 23-25, 2015

On 23-25 May 2015, the 15th Biannual International Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) will be held at the University of Alberta (Canada). The 2015 conference will focus on many kinds of common pool resources including fisheries, forests, and water resources as well as a host of emergent problems of social and environmental change. Participants in the conference will be invited to share 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

New affiliated researchers

We are happy to welcome two new affiliated researchers. Romina Rodela, research fellow at School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies of Södertörn University, Sweden, centers on environmental governance. In her research she considers participatory processes and explores the way these relate and influence resource management practices as well as governance arrangements, and vice-versa. As of May 2015, she will be joining our research team at Utrecht University on a part-time basis. The research of Joana Dias Pereira (photo left), postdoc researcher at the Institute for Contemporary History at the Universidade Nuova de Lisboa, focuses on labor movements, associations, and cooperative movements. Fernando Largo Jiménez (photo right), PhD Candidate et the Department of Eccnomics and Economic History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, is participating researcher in the NISAL-research project on the relation between population, food, and living standards in Spain in the nineteenth and  twentieth centuries. He also will temporarily join the Research Team in Utrecht in Spring 2015.

New publication on the early modern Dutch 'commercial household'

Anita Boele, Annemarie Bouman, and Tine De Moor jointly contributed a chapter in the publication Kwetsbare groepen in/en historische demografie [transl.: Vulnerable groups in/and historical demography]. In this collection of articles, various authors describe vulnerable groups in early modern and nineteenth-century European society, like Flemish migrants, farmers in Groningen, and elderly people in and around Leiden. The chapter by Boele, Bouman and De Moor thereby focuses on the consequences of the European Marriage Pattern for elderly care in early modern Holland and the employment of non-kin support as one of the survival strategies of the elderly, especially in the Leiden area. > Click here for pdf of book chapter  > click here for info on the book