On behalf of the IASC and the Local Organizing Committee, I would like to invite you to the XVI Biennial IASC Conference ‘Practicing the commons: self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change’, to be held from 10 to 14 July 2017 in the beautiful medieval city centre of Utrecht.
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’).
Organizing this conference in Europe will also offer a unique opportunity to give the issue of commons studies a bigger exposure among academics, practitioners, and NGOs, possibly resulting in an increased involvement of European scholars on commons. It will also allow the community of scientists to connect to new, inspiring forms of collective action that are coming up at the moment. 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.
On behalf of the IASC and also on behalf of the local organizers, I hope to meet you in Utrecht in July 2017!
Tine De Moor, Past-President IASC / Chair of the Local Organizing Committee IASC2017