Territorial Cleavages in Transitions to Constitutional Democracy

This project concerns the issues arising from territorially concentrated, politically salient, collective demands for constitutional accommodation in contexts of constitutional transition. It examines the experiences of a significant number of countries that have had to deal with pressures for territorial autonomy as part of attempted or successful constitutional transitions (and sometimes a broader set of issues simultaneously).

Constitutional transitions’ in this project concerns two distinctive but related types of processes:

  • Constitutional transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule, often post-conflict, but also in environments of on-going or potential conflict; and
  • Constitutional transitions (actual or potential) within functioning electoral democracies in response to claims for territorial autonomy (and where political violence also possibly is, or possibly has been, a central issue).

The project covers 15 case studies among federal, devolved and unitary countries (Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, , South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Ukraine) and is jointly implemented by the Forum, New York University and the Gimenez Abad Foundation with the support of International IDEA and the Mediation Support Unit of the United Nations’ Department of Political Affairs.

On 29 and 30 September 2015, there will be a “launch conference” in Brussels where the authors will present completed draft case studies and thematic papers. The conference will be hosted by the EU Committee of the Regions (COR).

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