On 22 and 23 September 2022, Erasmus School of Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen will host a conference on theoretical and empirical contributions in the field of public and private interest, and the legal frameworks that delegate regulatory authority to private actors or seek to steer private actors toward public interests.

The climate change and health care crises, global economic inequality and continuous threats to financial stability, identity- and status-based forms of exclusion, and eroding faith in the legitimacy of liberal democracies can partially be traced to an economy shaped to facilitate profit-maximisation for the benefit of private actors. Yet, overcoming these crises seems to be equally bound to the actions and inactions of private actors. Indeed, multiple recent regulatory initiatives point to the direction of harnessing the power of private actors to address fundamental concerns of social and environmental sustainability. The fragmented attempts to ‘re-embed’ markets by incorporating social and environmental considerations in the rationalities of private actors lead to broader conceptual questions. This conference focuses on answering these questions.