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

An online papers series for the Research Group is available: Diversity Governance Papers (DiGoP): Constitutional, Territorial and Societal Pluralism (the webpage is currently under construction, see the old paper series at http://www.eurac.edu/en/research/autonomies/minrig/publications/Pages/European-Autonomy-and-Diversity-Papers-(EDAP).aspx

Current members of the group

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

Nicholas Aroney
Professor of Constitutional Law, The University of Queensland

Tracy Beck Fenwick
Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Australian National University, Canberra

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

Paul Blokker
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Bologna

Ilze Brands Kehris
Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, UN, New York

Michael Breen
McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne

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

Sergiu Constantin
Senior Researcher, Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research

Yonatan Fessha
Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence, University of Western Cape, Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights

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

James Gardner
Bridget and Thomas Black SUNY Distinguished Professor of Law, Research Professor of Political Science, University at Buffalo School of Law

Georg Grote
Senior Researcher, Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research

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

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

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

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

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

Sean Müller
‘Eccellenza’ Assistant Professor, Institute of Political Science, University of Lausanne

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

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

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

Asha Sarangi
Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

José María Serna de la Garza
Senior Researcher (Investigador titular), Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, National University of Mexico (UNAM)

Ayelet Shachar
Director, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

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

Nenad Stojanović
FNS Professor, University of Geneva

Markku Suksi
Professor of public law, Department of Law, Åbo Akademi University

Alexandra Tomaselli
Senior Researcher, Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research

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

Asanga Welikala
Lecturer in Public Law and Director, Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law, Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh

Jens Woelk
Professor for Comparative Public Law, University of Trento, and Senior Research Advisor, Institute for Comparative Federalism, Eurac Research, Bolzano/Bozen

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

Jayampathy Wickramaratne
Director, Institute for Constitutional Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, currently guest researcher at the Institute of Federalism, Fribourg

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.

Further reference

  • Dr. Elisabeth Alber
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  • Elisabeth Alber is Senior Researcher and Program Head at Eurac Research, Institute for Comparative Federalism. She researches inter alia on deliberative democracy, federalism and decentralization as tools of conflict resolution, intergovernmental relations. She is the contact person for the DiGoP Series, and responsible for the partnership between Eurac Research and the IACL Blog.

Contact details

  • Francesco Palermo
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  • Prof. Dr. Joseph Marko
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  • Dr. Elisabeth Alber
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