The First International Conference on Governing the Commons held at Tsinghua University-Tsinghua University News

The First International Conference on Governing the Commons held at Tsinghua University

The First International Conference on Governing the Commons held at Tsinghua University


The 2017 Commons Workshop entitled Enhancing Water Governance and Policy was held on 14th and 15th October, at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University. This workshop was organized by the China Institute for Rural Studies at Tsinghua University in collaboration with the Centre for Water Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Third World Centre for Water Management, the International Association for the Study of the Commons, the International Journal of the Commons, and the International Journal of Water Resources Development.

This workshop is an academic platform that brings together multi-disciplinary researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to explore sustainable and innovative water governing approaches and instruments in China. More than 80 researchers and practitioners attended the workshop, including those from South Asia, Europe and the USA. 

At the opening ceremony, Professor Yahua Wang from the School of Public Policy and Management, Vice President of China Institute for Rural Studies of Tsinghua University, and Chair of the 2017 Commons Workshop, pointed out that governing the commons had become extremely complex, and it was important to provide a platform for Chinese scholars to share their research ideas and inspire each other. Opening remarks were also given by Professor Shaofeng Jia, Deputy Director of the Centre for Water Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Dr. John Powell, President of the International Association for the Study of the Commons; Dr. Frank van Laerhoven, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of the Commons; Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Water Resources Development.

Keynote speeches were given by Professor Asit Biswas, Visiting Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and founder of  the Third World Centre for Water Management; Professor Shui-yan Tang from the University of Southern California and Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration of the USA; Professor Jinxia Wang, Deputy Director of the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy at Peking University; and by Professor Eduardo Araral, Vice Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

Paper presentations were organized in 8 sessions around the topics of innovation and the transformation of water policy and water management, water ecology and water environment governance, water rights and water markets, self-governance and Water User Associations, and institutional analysis and policy process. In-depth discussions and comments were given by Prof. Zulin Shi and other professors from the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University. 

At the closing ceremony, closing remarks were given by Prof. Zhiyong Lan, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Dr. Frank van Laerhoven, and Dr. John Powell. Dr. Powell gave his compliments to Professor Yahua Wang for taking the initiative to develop commons studies in China, providing a great opportunity for Western scholars to understand China.

The 2017 Commons Workshop provided a forum of interesting discussions and debates among international scholars, which inspired new ideas for future studies. It foresaw a blossoming of successful development of commons study in China.

(Edited by Guo Lili, Zhu Lvhe)