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Digital Humanities Lab

Digital Identity and Citizenship

“Common Rules”. The regulation of institutions for managing commons in Europe, 1100 – 1800

collective actions

Project Leader: Tine de Moor
Financier: NWO-Internationalisering
Partners: Lancaster University, Public University of Navarra
More info

Our present-day society is highly regulated and institutionalized: formal agreements are made at various levels within society to make things run smoothly: from driving a car, to disposing waste, to taking part in local and national elections, whereby breaching a rule usually carries a sanction. However, if rules are simply added without attention to the internal coherence of the regulations, contradictory situations may emerge within the regulations and rules may become ineffective: they may no longer be understood by the stakeholders, or simply be ignored (‘freeriding’), with sanctions no longer being applied. In order to avoid inertia of the institution, adequate action to reduce complexity and complementarity are needed, as in e.g. the Dutch “Programma Regeldruk en Administratieve Lastenvermindering”, which aims at reducing superfluous regulation for government professionals in the field of a.o. education. Today’s examples of over-regulation, both at state and local administrative level, are the result of a long-term development whereby rules have been added, without sufficient attention to coherence with pre-existing regulations. This project aims to understand how efficient and effective regulation can be developed, executed by well-functioning institutions.