Event Date/Time: Jan 10, 2011 End Date/Time: Jan 14, 2011
Early Registration Date: Aug 01, 2010
Abstract Submission Date: Mar 31, 2010
Paper Submission Date: Sep 30, 2010
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Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the
International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC)

Theme: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining our Future

January 10-14, 2011 Hyderabad, India
Chaired by: Mr. Nitin Desai | Co-Chair: Jagdeesh Puppala

The 13th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) will be held in Hyderabad, India from January 10th to 14th, 2011. The Conference is being held in South Asia for the first time; and in a departure from the past, will be hosted by a practitioner organization - Foundation for Ecological Security (FES). The Conference is not only a platform for furthering scholarship and debates centered around Commons, but also a space where practitioners, policy makers and researchers from across the world enrich the collective understanding on common property resources and identify areas and measures to inform policy and programmatic action as well as guide future research.

IASC 2011 will explore ways to sustain common property resources and Commons for the coming generations in the wake of ever increasing threats of privatization of collective assets and an increasing trend of atomization of rural and urban societies. The Conference will take a critical look at the interface between human and natural systems, Commons in particular, to build on our understanding on the elements and interconnectedness that sustain life, collective action and our future. On the one hand, the Conference will attempt is to bring in emerging theoretical and empirical work on managing common resources and examine the mechanisms to govern Commons (including New Commons); on the other, it will also bring to surface the questions that practitioners and policy makers face on the ground and in shaping public policy.

The Conference will contribute rich lessons and principles for managing local, complex, as well as global Commons such as international arrangements to respond to climate change. Furthermore, rather than being an event in itself, the Conference will be a part of a much larger process that involves regular engagement with government and non-government entities across the country. These engagements will culminate in a set of concrete recommendations that will feed into the preparation of the 12th Five Year Plan of India.

Organisation of the Conference

The Conference will provide opportunities for academics, researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience. Multiple forms of participation are envisaged at this global meeting. These include:

· Paper presentations: Author(s) of a single paper should submit an abstract for their single paper to a specific Conference sub-theme. The Program Committee will group each single paper submission with 2 to 3 other single paper submissions on a similar sub-theme/topic to schedule concurrent panel sessions of 3 to 4 paper presentations total. (Note: Single papers authored by one or more persons are suitable for submission.)

· Thematic panels: Sponsoring organisations and other academic/research bodies are encouraged to organise and deliver focused policy/practitioner workshops. Thematic panels may also be established by a group of authors to examine a particular issue within a sector, such as forestry or fishing.

· Poster presentations: Poster sessions will be organised and slotted specific times in order to make the sessions more interactive and attractive both to those presenting and their potential audience. Other than presenting papers, practitioners would be encouraged to highlight their work through poster presentations.

· Video presentations: Special sessions will be organized for screening video, film, and other forms of presentation. Sharing the status of Commons, the issues faced, attempts at governing such resources, etc. could be shared through this new format of presentation.

· Pre-Conference workshops: A series of pre-Conference workshops will run on January 10. These will cater both to those new to the concept of ‘common-pool resources’ as well as the experts.

· Practitioners’ Colloquium: Specific issues will be debated by small groups of practitioners with policy makers or researchers in small discussion groups.

· Young researcher sessions: Students starting out in research careers may benefit from taking part in sessions identified specifically for young researchers. The aim is to encourage attendance by young researchers and students.

ABOUT THE THEME: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining our Future

For the 2011 Conference, the emphasis on the one hand is the importance of Commons to the communities depending on them for their livelihoods, and on the other hand it also explores the scope to contribute to global issues of climate change and governance. While the discussions on Commons have been growing and are being used across various new arenas – such as the Internet Commons, intellectual property rights, open source publishing, and other global Commons, in the case of India and South Asia, the issue of survival and sustaining local livelihoods are of great importance.

Our future and the future of generations to come would depend on our abilities to preserve and sustain the Commons. The Conference will examine the inter-linkages between poverty and Commons along with the role played by the Commons in the economic, social and political empowerment of the poor and the marginalized.

The Conference will be a forum to synthesize the existing analytical tools, understand the methodological challenges vis-à-vis these tools and propose new or improved tools that would help in overcoming these challenges. The Conference will also explore the complex interactions between human beings and natural systems; with papers, concentrating on the ecological and social dimensions of governing Commons. The Conference will explore impact of globalization on the governance of Commons and will critically examine the legal frameworks, from across the world, to govern Commons.

Seven sub-themes are suggested. The goal is to foster deeper discussions across all themes, including the analysis of institutional frameworks, the importance and influence of markets and public policy-making, and the interrelationships between policies and institutions at local, regional, national and international levels within the context of global transition. We will use the themes as a means of identifying and threading together key issues facing common pool resources throughout the world. This will allow for cross-sectoral reflection on the content of the meeting and enable discussion and analysis that will push back the boundaries of knowledge and understanding on Commons issues.


The Conference will deal with physical common resources such as Forests, Grazing resources, Protected Areas, Water Resources, Fisheries, Coastal Commons, Lagoon Commons, Irrigation Systems, Livestock and Commons as well as New Commons such as Information Commons, Cultural Commons, Genetic Resources, Patents, Climate, etc.

The above subjects would be captured under the following sub-themes:
1. The Commons, Poverty and Social Exclusion;
2. Governance of the Commons: Decentralization, Property Rights, Legal Framework, Structure and Organization;
3. The Commons: Theory, Analytics and Data;
4. Globalisation, Commercialisation and the Commons;
5. Managing the Global Commons: Climate Change and other Challenges;
6. Managing Complex Commons (Lagoons, Protected Areas, Wetlands, Mountain Areas, Rangelands, Coastal Commons);
7. New Commons (Digital Commons, Genetic Commons, Patents, Music, Literature etc);
Please note that the papers may cut across more than one of the seven sub-themes. The illustrative sub-theme questions and topics below are intended to help contributors and are in no way binding.

For more information on the subthemes visit the conference website: www.iasc2011.fes.org.in


· March 31st 2010: Deadline for submission of paper, panel and poster proposals
· September 30th 2010: Deadline for submission of papers
· August 1st 2010: Early registration deadline (tentative)


Additional Information

For assistance on the submission process, visit: http://iasc2011.fes.org.in/conference/index.php/IASC/index/pages/view/submissionguidelinesSubmission of abstracts is open to all and not restricted to members of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC).