Wednesday, June 11, 2014


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: XVth Biannual Conference International Association for the Study of the Commons

The International Association for the Study of the Commons is meeting in Edmonton, Canada - May 25-29, 2015.  This Conference (IASC 2015) aims to attract scholars, practitioners and policy makers from a variety of cultures, disciplines, geographies and socio-political contexts to share their ideas and experiences about the commons - past, present and future. The organizers welcome academics, community groups, government resource people, NGOs and commons practitioners from Alberta, Canada and around the world to submit abstracts to participate.

Those interested in participating can submit abstracts for panel or group presentation or for individual presentations along the following themes:

  1. Defining the Commons: Building Knowledge through Collaboration​​. The meaning and significance of the ‘commons’ varies depending on the disciplinary, socio-economic and geographic position of those engaged in, or living with, common pool resources as well as the particularities of the resource itself.
  2. The Commons in a Global Political Economy​. The global political economy presents many new challenges for the ‘commons’.  Understanding the fit between local-global perspectives is particularly important in an increasingly global world.  How do political and economic institutions at larger scales facilitate or limit sustainable use and management at local scales?
  3. Food Security, Livelihoods and Well-being​. This theme addresses the challenges associated with the human dimensions (quality of life) of the ‘commons’.  What are the opportunities and challenges for improving food security and building sustainable livelihoods?  This theme also links questions of environment, agriculture and resource management to solving problems of socio-economic marginalization.
  4. The Commons in Action. The research and practice of NGOs, communities and non-academic institutions are important to understanding how to address practical ‘commons’ issues.
  5. Social-Ecological Resilience. How resilient is the ‘commons’ to the stresses of the global political economy?  Fostering resilience necessitates understanding people and resources as an integrated social-ecological system.  The conference invites theoretical discussion on resilience to the stresses and uncertainties of ecological variability change.   In addition to understanding the impacts and implications of the loss or degradation of valued resources, there is an equally urgent need to understand socio-economic, cultural and health responses and implications.
  6. Dealing with Risk, Conflict and Uncertainty​. The conference is also interested in abstracts that deal with questions of power and governance of the ‘commons’.
  7. The Commons and Climate Change. Climate change has led to new kinds of stresses on common pool resources in many parts of the world.  The effects of global warming are particularly well understood in polar regions and areas of the global south.  Although Indigenous communities in these regions have experienced significant natural variability in their environments over generations, the threat of climate change is creating new kinds of challenges.
  8. Indigenous Peoples and Resource Development. Indigenous peoples have a unique position vis-à-vis resource development.  Historically, many Indigenous communities managed lands and resources as a ‘commons’ however, resource development activities are changing such social and ecological relations.

More information available here.

Deadline for Panel and Group Presentation Abstracts: July 1, 2014

Deadline for Individual Presentation Abstracts: July 31, 2014

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