In cooperation with the University of Oxford, The Elcano Institute, Madrid and the Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change the Forum plans to implement a research project on the nexus between federalism and secession. This project will look at advanced democracies but, if successful, in a second stage could also include emerging federations. As a first activity, it is envisaged to conduct an international conference at Oxford University on “Responses to secessionism in advanced democracies. Accommodation instruments and the politics of federal reforms” on May 25-26, 2017. The lead expert on this project is Prof. Cesar Colino, Long Distance University Madrid, who is currently on a fellowship at St. Anthony’s College in Oxford.
The conference will look at the following issues:
1. What different paths of accommodation different multinational countries take and with what effects for accommodating new secessionist demands? Are there coherent national models of accommodation or are all governments muddling through amid short-term electoral and economic preoccupations that hinder reform initiatives and/or ratification?
2. What are the best reform procedures to achieve accommodation of secession demands? Do devolution, fiscal appeasement, recognition, or participation at the center still work? Is there space for constitutional imagination and innovation in procedures and contents?
3. Do institutions and or/ideas and/or foreign models determine accommodation instruments used and its combination?
4. Are secession demands accommodable? What are the effects of central policies of accommodation or non-accommodation vis-à-vis regional domestic conditions and developments, public opinion and party competition or the interaction between the two?
5. What are the prospects of successful reform? How can we reconcile the politics of secessionism with the politics of institutional reform?
Follow us on Facebook @ ForumofFederations