Projects - "Common Rules"

Research groups


The international team supporting this project builds on long-standing informal academic exchange, but wishes to combine its common knowledge about commons’ regulation through a collective database and a model for comparative analysis. For this, they will organise a series of intensive workshop meetings, in two cases linked to larger meetings with scholars not included in this application. Specific information on the involved research groups you will find beneath.


Scholars working on the topic of institutional design of institutions for collective action interested in collaborating, should contact the project leader



Utrecht University (Utrecht, the Netherlands)

Department of History and Art History

Research group of  “Economic and social history”


This research group has over the past few years become one of the world’s leading departments in social and economic history, with a clear focus on the relationship between economic development and institutional development in the period between the Middle Ages and the present day. The scientific leader of the programme, prof. Jan Luiten van Zanden, is one of Europe’s most prominent economic historians. The programme has also been developed in close collaboration with the second chair, prof. Maarten Prak. The group works on a number of closely related research projects, which are funded to a significant extent by non-university resources, such as NWO, EURYI, and ERC. The focus of the group’s research efforts is on the institutional development of capitalism since the late Middle Ages, including the interactions between institutions and social and economic developments as such. The group is particularly interested in ‘bottom-up’ institutions, such as networks of employers and the related `civic culture’, urban guilds and rural commons, families and firms, unions and cooperatives.

Participating members of the Utrecht-group

  • Prof. dr. Tine De Moor
  • dr. Jaco Zuijderduijn
  • René van Weeren


Prof. dr. Tine De Moor
Research Centre for History and Art History
Drift 6, 3512 BS, Utrecht, The Netherlands
tel. +32-92381037

Personal webpage



Universidad Pública de Navarra (Pamplona, Spain)

Economics Department


The group UPNA-315 “Historia y Economía” has been recognized in 2010 by the ANEP (Spanish National Evaluation and Foresight Agency) as an “excellence group”, rewarding the research on Economic History by, among others, J. De la Torre, G. Sanz-Lafuente, M. Rubio-Varas, J-M. Aizpurua and J-M. Lana.  The group has been developing two projects “Enigmas del común. Pervivencia y gestión de recursos comunales en comunidades rurales europeas” (HUM2006-01277) and “Los provechos del común: un enfoque histórico sobre la propiedad, uso y gestión comunitaria de recursos y sus efectos ambientales y sociales” (HAR2009-09700), financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation that have a direct relationship with the current application. With the participation of researchers from other universities such as I. Iriarte-Goñi, A. Ortega-Santos, A. Cabana, F.Beltrán, A.M.Linares, O.Bascuñán and J.Izquierdo, this is the leading project for the study of the commons in Spain today. J-M. Lana (co-applicant) is also closely involved in the COST-project A-35 Progressore. Programme for the Study of European Rural Societies and other international networks.

Participating members of the UPNA-315 group

  • dr. José Miguel Lana Berasáin
  • dr. Gloria Sanz Lafuente
  • Mercedes Bogino (doctoral student)

Related projects of this research group


Dr. José Miguel Lana Berasáin, Associate Professor
Department of Economics of Universidad Pública de Navarra
Campus Arrosadia, E31006, Navarra, Spain
tel. +34-948169667, fax. +34-948169721  

Personal webpage 




Lancaster University (Lancaster, UK)

Department of History


Lancaster University is home to the leading group of historians researching the regulation of common land in England and Wales.  Winchester’s work on the medieval and early-modern periods and Straughton’s on the 19th and 20th centuries have achieved international recognition and the Lancaster group recently completed a major research project with Newcastle Law School which used longitudinal analysis of management to inform contemporary debates surrounding the use of common land in Great Britain. Winchester co-co-ordinated the project ‘Contested Common Land: Environmental Governance, Law and Sustainable Land Management, c. 1600-2006’-a major project funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council (see Both team members have recently published the book Contested common land. Environmental governance past and present (Earthscan 2011), together with C.P. Rodgers and M. Pieraccini.

Participating members of Lancaster University

  • dr. Angus Winchester
  • dr. Eleanor Straughton
  • James Bowen (PhD-student)
  • Frances Kerner (PhD-student)

Related projects of this research group

  • Contested Common Land: Environmental Governance, Law and Sustainable Land Management, c. 1600-2006


Dr. Angus J.L. Winchester, Senior Lecturer,
Department of History, Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YG, UK
tel. +44-1524592559, fax +44-1524846102

Personal webpage



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