Servitisation at the intersection of property and contract The law and governance of servitisation to foster sustainable consumption and consumer social responsibilities
Promovendus: Dhr. J. Ouyang
Promotores: Mw. Dr. C.M.D.S. Pavillon, Mw. Prof.Dr. A.L.B. Colombi Ciacchi
Duur: 1/9/2022 - 31/8/2026
Servitisation, from the sale of goods to the provision of services, is an emerging socio-economic trend that is expected to facilitate the sustainable transition. As the property is governed by contracts in servitisation, it is helpful to examine servitisation at the intersection of property and contract law and theories. As such, in my project, I argue that servitisation should be legally constructed as a sustainable, relational property governance model that provides an alternative way of relating to things and to each other. I will specifically focus on the role of consumers in servitisation. On the one hand, I will assess the current European legal framework to see whether it is up for the task of affording consumers adequate protection in light of servitisation and how it this framework could be modernised to fit in with a sustainable, servitised economy. On the other hand, I also wish to challenge the established rhetoric of consumers as the weaker parties in the free market who are ready to be protected but to rethink consumers as active contributors to sustainable consumption, which will be called consumer social responsibilities. In line with this view, the legal framework for servitisation should not only be protective but also empowering and even restrictive of the consumers freedom of choice. I will also reach beyond Europe to engage with the conversations on sustainable consumption taking place on an international level. All in all, it is my hope that this project will provide more than a sound legal framework for servitisation but also shed light on how we should recalibrate consumer law in the 21st century.