Save the date! XVI Biennal IASC Conference – Utrecht, 10-14 July 2017

If we had to name the current crossroad of studies and events about the commons, we could not but think about Utrecht. In the past few weeks, LabGov attended the Symposium “Cooperation in the field” hosted by the city university and IASC dinner debate there.  But there is good news: we will walk our road to Utrecht again!

As anticipated in our previous post, IASC dinner debate was the occasion to launch the XVI IASC Biennal Conference, which will take place in Utrecht from the 10th to the 14th of July, 2017.

The event will be jointly hosted by the “Institutions for Collective action” research team of Utrecht University together with the latter’s strategic theme “Institutions for Open Societies” research team.

600 academics, practitioners and stakeholders in the field of the commons, common-pool resources and cooperatives will gather to exchange their idea about the main theme of the conference, i.e. “Practicing the commons: Self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change“.

The event will represent an outstanding chance to meet, expose and connect. Attendants will have the opportunity to share practices and learn from each other’s experiences. They will also have the chance to focus on the developments of common-pool resources and cooperatives in the Netherlands through public events and field trips.

Debates will cover 8 topics:

  1. Recipes for resilient cooperation
  1. Issues of exclusion and control in the formation, defense and governance of commons
  1. The impact of the commons
  1. Methods and models to study the commons
  1. Polycentric governance of global resources
  1. Crisis on the commons?
  1. Commons and the city
  1. Corporations, governments and commons

A call for contributions is open until October 15th, 2016 on these topics.

Up to now, three high-level scholars confirmed their presence:

Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University.

Juan Camilo Cárdenas, Professor at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. The focus of his work lies with the analysis and design of institutions (rules of the game) that promote cooperation among individuals and the solution of social dilemmas in the most fair, efficient, equitable, democratic and sustainable manner possible.

Jane Humphriesk, Professor of Economic History and a Fellow of All Souls College Oxford.

Tine de Moor – IASC President and Full Professor of ‘Institutions for Collective Action in Historical Perspective’ at the Department of Social and Economic History, Utrecht University – explained the importance of this conference and its aim:

With this conference, we aim to consolidate and expand the important work of the IASC on the study of the commons, both in academia as well as ‘in the field’. As previous conferences have shown, commons are important worldwide, both in the present as well as in the past. Especially in Europe, due to the increased privatization of public goods and the impact of the economic crisis over the past few years, commons and other forms of institutions for collective action have received increasing attention from both academia as form society itself; Europe even seems to experience a new ‘wave of collective action’ in virtually every sector of society: new forms of institutions for collective action pop up in energy, care, infrastructure and food (see for example the results of recent surveys by our research team ‘Institutions for Collective Action’).

[..] We intend to demonstrate that the knowledge brought together within the IASC by scholars and practitioners dealing with the commons from developing countries can be a great source of inspiration for current western developments, in terms of resource management.

IASC is waiting for you! Registrations will be open from February 2017.

For further information visit the official event webpage.


Se dovessimo scegliere il centro nevralgico dello scambio di idee, esperienze e buone pratiche in materia di beni comuni, oggi non potremmo non pensare ad Utrecht. Ci siamo stati spesso nelle scorse settimane. Ci torneremo tra il 10 e il 14 luglio del prossimo anno per la sedicesima edizione della Biennal IASC Conference. Si parlerà di commons e cooperazione alla presenza di esperti di alto livello, in una cornice mozzafiato.