IACL-AIDC.ORG

The International Association of Constitutional Law || l'Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel

Purpose of the group

The group brings together scholars exploring the role of constitutions in managing societal and territorial pluralism and in attempting to set the frame for dealing with diversity in a holistic manner. By so doing, the research group studies federal solutions, autonomy arrangements, minority rights, language policies, human rights rules, democratic/political pluralism and participatory instruments. The constitutional framework in this area has to be looked at in broader terms, ie in a comparative analysis of domestic (national and subnational) constitutions as well as considering international and supranational obligations.
Most of the consolidated approaches to federal studies and minority rights fail to provide viable constitutional answers to the growing claims for accommodating societal and territorial pluralism. Nearly all federal or quasi-federal arrangements developed over the past three decades aim at granting broader self-government to minority groups within states. Such approach, however, does not prove sound enough to address the demands for recognition, together with an effective system of governance. Contemporary constitutionalism requires the inclusion of an ever more numerous variety of interests and stakeholders in decision-making processes and this challenges law-makers and civil servants when it comes to the governance and management of societal pluralism. To ensure good governance and a high public responsiveness to policies, more attention has to be paid not only to how institutions regulate pluralism, but also to the practical impact regulatory frameworks have on the management of societal complexity in various policy fields.
Against this background, the research group studies how constitutionalism affects the governance of societal complexity and to what extent the management of societal pluralism requires both a reconsideration of the conceptual framework of diversity governance, and a rethinking of its traditionally connected empirical research agendas. Building on the studies on legal pluralism, multilevel democracy, transnational constitutional law, the fragmentation of authority as well as the multiplication of (bottom-up) claims, the aim of this research group is threefold. First, it contributes to revising the conceptual framework of diversity governance. Second, it elaborates (comparative constitutional) studies on how societal pluralism is regulated in diverse policy fields. Third, it has practical impact on the circulation of diversity governance approaches to specific policies across academic traditions, and continents.

Indicative activities

  • Monitoring of the developments in the area of comparative federalism, minority rights, participatory democracy, deliberative constitutionalism, legal pluralism, multilevel democracy;
  • Analysis of the division of powers among levels of government and of individual policy areas in which these dimensions come together, such as the environment, education, immigration, social affairs, religious diversity, cross-border cooperation as well as deliberative decision-making and financial intergovernmental relations;
  • Organizing seminars, workshops and conferences on the mentioned issues;
  • Bringing together different institutions, scholars and networks dealing with the topic of the research under the umbrella of the IACL;
  • Joint participation in calls and projects, including consultancy, can be considered;
  • Participating in ongoing researches, including by strengthening the cooperation with existing Research groups such as the ones on “Subnational Constitutions in Federal and Quasi-Federal Constitutional States” and on “Identity, Race and Ethnicity in Constitutional Law”. Some members of the groups also participate in these other groups and further synergy is being pursued;
  • Publication of journal articles, chapters in books, edited volumes and monographs in the mentioned areas;
  • Publication of entries in the IACL blog based on the partnership the Eurac Research Institute for Comparative Federalism has with the IACL blog.

Three book series edited by Eurac Research are already focusing on the topics of the Research Group

  • “Studies in Territorial and Cultural Diversity Governance”, Brill | Nijhoff, Leiden-Boston
  • “Minderheiten und Autonomien”, Nomos, Baden Baden
  • “Ius publicum Europaeum”, ESI, Napoli

An online papers series for the Research Group to be established

Current members of the group

Eva Maria Belser
Professor for Law, Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg

Joshua Castellino
Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International and Professor of Law, Middlesex University

Yonatan Fessha
Associate Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence, University of Western Cape, Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights. Currently Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research

Anna Gamper
Professor at the Department of Public Law, State and Administrative Theory, University of Innsbruck

Andrew Harding
Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

Rainer Hofmann
Professor of Public Law, Public International Law and European law, Goethe University Frankfurt

Ilze Brands Kehris
Mandate-Holder at Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Lund

Soeren Keil
Reader in Politics and International Relations, Canterbury Christ Church University, New Zealand

Joseph Marko
Professor of Comparative Public Law and Political Sciences, Institute of Public Law, University of Graz and Head of the Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Jaclyn Neo
Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

Francesco Palermo
Professor for Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Verona and Head of the Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Johanne Poirier
Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal

Patricia Popelier
Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Antwerp

Petra Roter
Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark
Director at the Åland Islands Peace Institute and Associate Professor of International Law

Nico Steytler
Professor of Law, SARChi Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy, University of Western Cape, Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights

Markku Suksi
Professor of Public Law, Department of Law, Åbo Akademi University

Elisabeth Alber
Senior Researcher, Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Mariachiara Alberton
Senior Researcher, Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Karl Kössler
Senior Researcher, Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Roberta Medda-Windischer
Senior Researcher, Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Günther Rautz
Co-head, Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Kerstin Wonisch
Researcher, Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

Alice Valdesalici
Senior Researcher, Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

The Research Group is open to further members.

Contact Details

  • Francesco Palermo
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  • Francesco Palermo is professor for comparative constitutional law at the University of Verona and head of the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen. He worked for the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and was member and president of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Palermo is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU for the term 2018-2023. He authored over 300 publications, including 11 monographs and 31 edited volumes.
  • Joseph Marko
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  • Joseph Marko is full Professor of comparative public law and political sciences at the Institute of Public Law and Political Sciences at the University of Graz. He served as one of the three international judges at the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1997 to 2002. From 1998 to 2002 and from 2006 to 2007 he was a member of the Council of Europe's Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and is head of the Institute for Minority Rights at Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen. From 2011 to 2016, he served as dean of the law faculty at the University of Graz. Since July 2016, he has worked for the Special Advisor to the UN’s Secretary General Espen Eide as legal advisor in the Cyprus re-unification negotiations.

Contact details

  • Francesco Palermo
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  • Prof. Dr. Joseph Marko
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