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Dr Yan Zhang

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Research interests

My research interests lie in the exploring of divergent perceptions of the ‘commons’ under different sociocultural context. The concept of the commons refers to anything held in common, from tangible resources to intangible cultures/cultural belonging, as well as institutional commons of public goods, and it involves both inter-generational sustainability and intra-generational equity. The commons stretches across all levels from local to global. The idea of the commons is a longstanding concept in the English-speaking world and in English law. Such an influential social scientific concept varies between different societies, which certainly blur our understanding about the private-public distinction under different sociocultural contexts. Governance of the commons is a dynamic process of governing, with anticipated objectives. Its procedure is composed of actions and dynamics, generated by the actors with accountability and capability. I redefined the commons broadly from its etymological origin, as anything shared by all or many. My research provided critiques to current theories of the commons and offered novel contributions to the redefined concept of the commons, theory of the integrated commons, model of the variable sets related to the commons and the framework of commons governance process.

Publications

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The Cambridge Big Data Strategic Research Initiative brings together researchers from across the University to address challenges presented by our access to unprecedented volumes of data. Our research spans all six Schools of the University, from the underlying fundamentals in mathematics and computer science, to applications ranging from astronomy and bioinformatics, to medicine, social science and the humanities

In parallel, our research addresses important issues around law, ethics and economics, in order to apply Big Data to solve challenging problems for society.

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