What is the Common
= What is the Common?, An International Conference
10-11 October 2009 University of Gothenburg Sweden
In the shadow of the global crisis of capitalism, the common, somehow obliterated in the recent past, has emerged as an indispensable and central notion. The conference addresses this notion both as a real movement and as an already present horizon, a dynamic principle, for societal life. It is a critical topic today, not only because the public, administrated by the state, is reduced to expendable assets for regulating a supposedly self-regulating machine called Market, but more importantly because the emerging forms of the common impose themselves with an unprecedented acuity and in opposition to the doxa of the private property.
The common refers not only to primary resources, such as water or ecological conditions on a planetary level, but it is at the same time a political force that traverses diverse fields of tension such as art and culture, law and gender relations. The question "What is the Common?" is addressed as a real agenda that conditions the thought. The conference is a program that extends over 4 years. Each year will treat two themes. The conference 2009 will welcome papers related to the following two axes:
1. The Common and the Economy
Which are the specific emerging forms of the common today and what defines its relation to the material conditions of production of values in contemporary capitalism? Under this axis, both theoretical discussions and case-specific investigations in areas such as autonomous popular organisations, regional movements or global changes in one specific economic sector are welcome.
2. The Philosophical Understanding of what the Common Is
The common has since Plato's Republic been a central question for the philosophical thinking. What is the relation or non-relation between the common and the totality of social relations? In which form and based upon what ontological or existential categories does it emerge? What is the difference between the common as the name of a real movement and the nostalgies of the return to a simple life?
Submissions should be sent either by electronic mail to: [email protected] or as a paper copy to: Sylva Frisk, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Box 700, SE-405 30 Goteborg, Sweden.
The conference is organized upon an original proposal by Dr Dariush Moaven Doust. He is also responsible for the organization of the conference and the head of the Scientific committee in which Tomas Jonsson, researcher at CEFOS, Professor emeritus Sven-Eric Liedman, History of Ideas, Professor Lennart Nilsson, CEFOS, Professor emeritus Jan Ling, Sylva Frisk, Director of Studies at the School of Global Studies participate. The host for the conference is the School of Global Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences.