University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is characterised by its high standards in education, internationally competitive research and entrepreneurial approach. It was founded in 2003 after the merge of three university institutions with roots going back to 1852. The University of Antwerp has about 15000 students, which makes it the third largest university in Flanders. The University of Antwerp forms the backbone of the Antwerp University Association a strategic collaboration with four university colleges in the city of Antwerp.
The Research Unit Social Competition and Law focuses on scientific research of industrial and social relations. Approaching these relations from the angle of social competition and law allows us to understand the complex, interactive and cross-border aspects of phenomena of social exploitation and exclusion in a coherent manner.
This way the research unit wants to contribute to the search for innovative and better analyses of the function, content and application of social law.


CIRIEC (International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy) is a non-governmental international scientific organization. Its objectives are to undertake and promote the collection of information, scientific research, and the publication of works on economic sectors and activities oriented towards the service of the general and collective interest: action by the State and the local and regional public authorities in economic fields (economic policy, regulation); public utilities; public and mixed enterprises at the national, regional and municipal levels; the so-called "social economy" (not-for-profit economy, cooperatives, mutuals, and non-profit organizations); etc.
In these fields CIRIEC seeks to offer information and opportunities for mutual enrichment to practitioners and academics and for promoting international reflection and action. It develops activities of interest for both managers and researchers.
To provide a forum of scientific debate, CIRIEC initiated in 2007 a biennal Conference in social economy research.
Three conferences already took place in Victoria (Canada) in October 2007, in Ă–stersund (Sweden) in October 2009 and the third one in Valladolid (Spain) in April 2011.
The fourth one is presently prepared by CIRIEC- Belgium in cooperation with the University of Antwerp (UA).
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