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Conference: The Commons as a Transformative Legal Paradigm (Turino, June 16-18)

Part of the:


17th General Meeting of the Common Core of European Private Law 2011


Since the crash of the markets in 2008 and overt failure of the Copenhagen summit, the inadequacy of state and market mechanisms to address the most pressing problems of our time has become increasingly apparent and alarming. The current moment, therefore, finds activists, scholars and policy makers urgently searching for new strategies and tactics to not only retool, but also possibly restructure institutional arrangements in domestic and global settings. Over the last couple decades, the rhetoric of ‘the Commons’ has become an increasingly frequent heuristic and mobilizing technique.  In the wake of urgent global challenges to both the European Union and the global system, here we are particularly interested in opening the Common Core Project as a platform for exploring the extent to which the comparative law model offers space for understanding and advancing the ‘Commons’.  The Conference is organized into three streams (listed below) that take place over the 16th to 18th of June 2011.

Stream 1: Cartographies of the Commons:

Legal, Political, & Social Dimensions of the Commons (June 16th)

Where did the ‘Commons’ begin, and how was it transmitted into our contemporary moment? Furthermore, what exactly does the ‘Commons’ constitute today for activists, policy makers and scholars? The conference therefore invites contributors to frame the historical and contemporary field of the ‘Commons?, in terms of its legal, political, and social dimensions and how its geographic sites of contestation have led to both divergent and overlapping characterizations and goals for the ‘Commons’.

Stream 2: The Commons as a Transformative Legal Paradigm (June 17th)

The relationships between law and the ‘Commons’ has remained for the most part uncritically explored. What might law learn from how other disciplines and agents outside of law employ the ‘Commons’? Is the role of law merely to advance various projects of the ‘Commons’, or does law itself offer useful insight for understanding the ‘Commons’? Is law the ideal vehicle for promoting the ‘Commons’, or is it more often a hindrance? Contributors are here encouraged to reflect on these questions concerning the praxis between law and the Commons.

Stream 3: Common Core Project: Past Lessons and Future Trajectories (June 18th)

In keeping with the spirit of the Common Core project of the past, contributors are especially encouraged to reflect on the relationship between Comparative Law and the ‘Commons’ as a means to allow for self-critique from respective positions, to explore how the functionalist methodology could contribute to a study on the Commons as well as how the Commons may challenge this very methodology.

Confirmed Speakers

Keynote speakers for this years event include, Erling Berge, Mauro Bussani, Boaventura De Sousa Santos, Anna Di Robilant, Ugo Mattei, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Sundhya Pahuja, Fabian Muniesa, Gunther Teubner, and Filippo Valguarnera.

Conference Organization

The 2011 Common Core Conference is hosted by the International University College of Turin (IUC) and the Institute for the study of Political Economy and Law (IPEL). The Common Core project, originating in Cornell, applies Comparative Law methodology with the purpose of mapping the legal landscape in European Private Law. Today, the Common Core has published 11 Cambridge Press editions as well as two more on Stämpfli-Carolina Academic Press, in the fields of Contracts, Torts, Property, Trusts, Competition Law, and Environmental Law. The 2011 Commons Core Conference is supervised by Steering Committee members, Prof. Ugo Mattei and Prof. Mauro Bussani, and will be organized by the Institute’s Assistant Directors, Saki Bailey and John Haskell.  

For more information, please contact IPEL@iuctorino.it

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