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2016 IASC European Regional Conference

‘Commons in a 'glocal' world: global connections and local responses’

Date: 10-13 May 2016

Venue: Bern (Switzerland)

Conference chairs: Tobias Haller, Stephan Rist

> Go to Conference website and registration

Research on the commons deals either with the development of institutions for the management of the commons, or with issues related to global change. While the latter mainly focuses on drivers and effects of global expansion of capitalist modes of production, consumption, and societal reproduction, research on institutions for the management of the commons deals with collective action and the effects and reactions within local action arenas. However, the entangled institutional processes through which global and local arenas – referred to as “glocal” – interlock are not yet addressed in a systematic way.

Europe has been a major driver of “glocal” processes. Therefore, the 4th Regional European Meeting of the IASC is devoted to global connections and local responses. It provides a space to advance our understanding of ongoing “glocal” processes and to analyze historically how commons in Europe have evolved and adapted to “glocal” changes. By integrating political ecology with approaches of New Institutionalism and Critical Theory in Anthropology, Human Geography, Political Science and History, we propose to investigate the impacts of external changes on the perception and evaluation of resources by actors related to the commons. This raises the question of local bargaining power, ideologies and discourses, and of the selection and crafting of institutional designs, which in turn affect the access to common-pool resources, as well as the distribution of benefits related to the management of these resources.

This conference therefore aims to look at the interfaces between local and global processes in order to bring together research arenas that have often been kept quite separate until now. We therefore call for contributions focusing on:

- how global players such as multinational companies and organizations affect local governance of the commons worldwide
- the role of international law and global trade in shaping the interface between global actors and institutional processes of local commons governance
- the impacts of external economic and political changes on the perception and evaluation of resources and areas by actors related to the commons
- local resistance and the development of political strategies countering the transformation of collective into private or state-based property rights as a consequence of economic and political changes
- the local crafting of institutional designs in global and local arenas, and how these affect access to and distribution of natural resources and related benefits among local to global actors using the commons
- how the encounter of global and local processes affect bargaining power, ideologies and discourses of global and local actors in governing sustainability trade-offs.

We especially welcome contributions that aim to address the above mentioned themes through novel forms of integrating theoretical approaches. In addition, the focus of the conference will be on a dialogue among representatives of different academic disciplines (e.g. geography, social anthropology, history, development studies, economics, political science, and law) and between academics and non-academic actors (e.g. practitioners, business representatives, policy makers, or NGOs).

Also have a look at the Conference website of Bern University

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