Capturing the Complexity of the Commons

International Association for the Study of the Commons North American Regional Meeting

Hosted by the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity and the Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems

September 30 – October 2, 2010, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (USA)

Capturing the Complexity of the Commons

The North American regional meeting of the IASC will have as its theme “capturing the complexity of the commons” reflecting the increasing efforts to understand commons over time at multiple levels of scale. The goal is to foster more discussion and collaboration especially among North American researchers working on commons from an interdisciplinary point of view. We invite scholars from the natural and social sciences as well as humanities and arts.

The conference is interdisciplinary and open to any individual interested in common-pool resources and common property issues. It is aimed at encouraging the discussion on the conference topics among researchers and practitioners living in North American or elsewhere. This should result in a stronger research network and an enhanced exchange of experiences primarily among North American researchers and students working on the Commons and also with scholars elsewhere.

The conference is organized in 3 subthemes:

Complexity
This theme address the increasing focus of commons research on cases with historical depth, multiple resources and resource uses, and multiple levels of social and ecological processes. Topics included in this subtheme are the resilience of common pool resources, institutional learning and adaptation, and transboundary commons and conflicts.

New Commons
This theme includes commons that can be grouped in four broad classes: the urban commons, the virtual commons, the environmental services and public health. Research on those topics using conceptual tools designed for the study of commons has strongly increased in the last few years. Moreover, many of those commons are, at present, crucial for the welfare of human beings as a whole.

Multiple Methods to Study the Commons
This theme addresses the methodological contributions to study the commons including ethnographic case studies, collaborative field studies, experiments, formal modeling and participatory processes. Besides contributions of the individual methodologies we recognize the benefits of using multiple methods to address the same research questions.

We welcome proposals for panels, workshops, and individual papers relating to the three subthemes of the conference:

Panels and Workshops. Submit a proposal to organize a 1.5 hour concurrent panel session (3 to 4 speakers and session chair) or workshop (a practically-oriented session with 2 or 3 speakers, session facilitator, and sufficient time for audience questions). Proposals include an abstract of the goal and topic of the session (maximum of 350 words), include names and affiliations of the organizer and individual presenters, and provide abstracts for the individual papers (maximum 250 words).
Proposals for panels and workshops are due April 1, 2010.

Individual Papers. Submit an abstract to give a 20-minute oral presentation. Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words. Include the name, title and affiliation of each author. Abstracts will be peer reviewed and are due April 1, 2010. Confirmation of acceptance of the abstract will be sent by May 1, 2010Final papers are due September 1, 2010 (details will be sent to authors upon abstract acceptance).

Conference Proceedings. All abstracts and submitted papers will be made available online (digital library of the commons). All conference paper submissions will be peer reviewed and a selection of the papers will be considered for a special issue of the International Journal of the Commons.

Submission of Abstracts . All abstracts must be submitted electronically in Word, text, or pdf format. Abstracts should be submitted via the conference website.

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