Project Neo-Federalism

How should political power be divided within and among national peoples? 

Can the nineteenth-century theory of the sovereign and unitary State be applied to the social reality of the twenty-first century? If not, what constitutional and philosophical theories can make sense of the empirical and normative world of our times? There are no convincing answers to these questions today, as contemporary constitutional and legal theory “come to terms” with two new international and national phenomena. First: the rise of international organizations, like the United Nations and the WTO, and, within Europe: the emergence of the European Union, have severely challenged the idea of the sovereign state from outside. And, second: at the same time, the myth of monolithic state power has also come under attack from within states with many modern states currently experiencing a phase of political and constitutional devolution (Italy, Spain, United Kingdom). This European Research Council project seeks to make legal and philosophical sense of these developments through the lens of federal theory.

News & Events

Scaling Global Governance – Durham Symposium

9th November 2016, 09:00 to 10th November 2016, 13:00, IAS Seminar, Palace Green

This interdisciplinary symposium invites scholars from Law, International Relations and Geography, to interrogate the role of ‘scale’ in international legal and governance scholarship. The symposium will explore the utility of a scalar approach, what the different scales represent, and whether there are lessons to be learnt about norm transfer and the legitimisation of governance across different scales. The symposium will consider whether the way we measure, label and conceptualise scales influences our approaches to law and global governance. Engaging with ‘scale’ beyond disciplinary silos will further scholarly understanding of the impact of scale in global governance.


Workshop: “Objectives and Methods of a Contextual Analysis in Comparative Law”

Date: May 19, 2016

Venue: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary


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