Introduction: Law for a New Economy: Enterprise, Sharing, Regulation

Date01 March 2018
Publication Date01 March 2018
AuthorAmelia Thorpe,Bronwen Morgan
ISSN: 0263-323X, pp. 1±9
Introduction: Law for a New Economy:
Enterprise, Sharing, Regulation
Bronwen Morgan* and Amelia Thorpe*
The main title of this special issue is deliberately purposive and open-ended
at one and the same time. Our invocation of the `new economy' says little
about the content of the novelty, risking perhaps the hollow ring of much
contemporary genuflection to innovation. Yet our exploration of this terrain
of the new is not aimless: the notion of law for a new economy implies a
direction of travel, perhaps even an adventure. In this volume, that sense of
direction is focused on a sense of the `new economy' as an emergent
movement: clusters of initiatives that link systemic economic change to
democratic empowerment, grass-roots struggle, and the pursuit of
environmental and social justice.
Two intellectual currents that resonate with this directionality are interest
in the social and solidarity economy,
and the remarkable rise of cross-
disciplinary interest in the commons.
Both currents highlight ethics and the
rethinking of economic practices in order to promote democratic self-
management and active citizenship. Utting's conceptualization is apt; he
refers to:
*University of New South Wales, UNSW Sydney, Sydney NSW 2052,
With thanks to the participants of the 2016 academic symposium that catalysed this
special issue (Amy Cohen, Stephen Healy, Morag McDermont, Marina Nehme, Christine
Parker, Devyani Prabhat, Jose Ramos, Benjamin Richardson, Beate Sja
Êfjell, Kyla
Tienhaara, and Shann Turnbull) and to Australian Research Council Future Fellowship
FT110100483 for supporting this and the related 2016 public conference, `Building a
New Economy in Australia'.
1 P. Utting (ed.), Social and Solidarity Economy: Beyond the Fringe (2015).
2 H.W. Burns and D. Bollier, Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights,
and the Law of the Commons (2014); D. Bollier and S. Helfrich (eds.), The Wealth of
the Commons: A World beyond Market and State (2012); A. Huron, `Theorising the
Urban Commons: New Thoughts, Tensions and Paths Forward' (2017) 54 Urban
Studies 1062; P. Bresnihan, Transforming the Fisheries: Neoliberalism, Nature, and
the Commons (2016).
ß2018 The Author. Journal of Law and Society ß2018 Cardiff University Law School

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