Rebalancing Public & Private Interests

This website is under development and will be updated with more information about ongoing research, upcoming workshops, international conferences.

Rebalancing Public & Private Interests is a cross-disciplinary research centre of Erasmus School of Law. We study the interaction between public and private interests and public and private actors in the context of contemporary societal challenges like globalisation, digitisation and privatisation and crises like those of the environment and public health. This research centre is a cooperation between scholars of Erasmus School of Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen. We also cooperate with the Erasmus Center of Empirical Legal Studies, funded by the same sector plan.

Law is part and partial to society and is constantly in development because of social, economic, and political changes. Developments like globalisation, digitisation and privatisation and crises like those of the environment, financial system, and public health require that the legal system and legal interests are re-evaluated and recalibrated. A well-functioning legal system is essential for the prosperity and wellbeing of citizens and requires strong faculties of law with excellent scholars equipped to deal with societal challenges. The legal discipline of the 21st century is also repositioning itself within the academic environment and in its relationship to other disciplines. Mindful of these societal and academic developments, the Dutch Sectorplan for Law 2019-2024 (in Dutch) facilitates the repositioning of law in society with cross-faculty partnerships along four thematic and one methodological research lines:

  • Digital legal studies
  • Conflict resolving institutions
  • Transformative functioning of globalization in law
  • Rebalancing of public interests in private relationships
  • Empirical legal studies

Erasmus School of Law participates in the latter two.

Rebalancing Public & Private Interests aims to make an innovative contribution with research on the role of law in its economic and social context. This cross-disciplinary research initiative focuses on the interaction between public and private interests in governance systems, which we summarize as ‘the public-private challenge’. More specifically this addresses questions about how public interests can be safeguarded by private actors, within private relationships and within public-private partnerships, and on the interaction between the emergence of public and private interests in relation to contemporary societal challenges such as like globalization, digitization and privatization and crises like those of the environment and public health.

Research line of Public and Private Interests


Postdoctoral researchers

Groningen sector plan postdoctoral researchers

PhD students

Eleven PhD positions were funded based on the sector plan funding for both research lines (Public & Private Interests and Empirical Legal Studies). All PhD candidates are listed below, but the extent to which their PhD research relates to one or both of the research lines varies.

Groningen PhD candidates: Pim Wissink, Benedikt Schmitz and Ida Varošanec.

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