The Common Interest and Global Justice

The Common Interest and Global Justice




Professor Peter Sutch (Cardiff University)

Dr Peri Roberts (Cardiff University)


This panel explores the concepts of common interest, common concern and common heritage as they arise in debates about global justice. The concepts are most fully developed within global commons debates that deal with benefit and burden sharing in areas beyond national jurisdiction – such as the deep seabed and space or the atmosphere. In this context these ideas are invoked to provide reasons for innovative governance and distributive justice regimes. However as exploitation of these spaces becomes more plausible (primarily for technological reasons) these normative innovations are under threat as powerful economic and national actors seek to harness the potential wealth of the commons – both seeking exclusive ownership of common resources and seeking to avoid the cost of protecting common environments. The panel will explore the normative force of common interest claims seeking to provide or critique reasons for applying these standards to the negotiations.


Of course, common interest reasoning is not confined to normative reflection on the global commons and papers exploring the normative implications for commons reasoning beyond the established global commons are very welcome. Debates over the intellectual property rights in biodiversity or human genetics, the environment more broadly or human well being generally are seeking to harness the power of common interest arguments and papers on these or related themes or that explore the concepts in the abstract will find a lively and receptive audience.


The editors are currently working on a special issue on global commons justice (to be delivered early in 2018) and this panel is an opportunity for those interested in this opportunity to develop article length contributions.


MANCEPT need confirmation of speaker numbers by the 30th June (in order to put the programme together). There are bursaries for some attendees and the deadline for bursary applications (available to current graduate students/retirees only) will be the 16th June, Registration will open in May. This year’s fees are £230.00 for academics and £135.00 for graduate students and retirees. The deadline for responding to the CFP is 26th April 2017 and all applicants will receive a response from us the following week.


More information is available at