Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions: Authors’ Conference held in Zaragoza

On 28 and 29 March 2014, the Authors’ Conference of our ongoing research project “Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions” took place in Zaragoza, Spain. The project is a partnership between Constitutional Transitions, the Forum of Federations, International IDEA, the Manuel Giménez Abad Foundation, and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. The Abad Foundation hosted the Authors’ Conference in the premises of the Cortes of Aragon, located in the Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza.

The project concerns issues relating to the territorial dimension of constitutional transitions, examining the experiences of countries facing demands for territorial autonomy as part of a constitution building process, and considers experiences of both successes and failures. More details about the project are here.

The Authors’ Conference was attended by 31 experts from, or with expertise on, Bolivia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Ukraine, and included some of the world’s leading experts on territorial political mobilization, constitutional design, and constitutional processes. In addition to contributing authors, they included senior practitioners from the United Nations and International IDEA, who provided valuable feedback from the perspective of potential users of the research outputs of the project.

Attendees included Zaid Al-Ali, George Anderson, Jacques Bertrand, Sumit Bisarya, Rupak Chattopadhyay, Sujit Choudhry, César Colino, Thomas Cormier, Jill Cottrell, Rohan Edrisinha, John Ferejohn, Assefa Fisseha, Kimana Zulueta Fuelscher, Yash Ghai, Tom Ginsburg, Roderick Hills, Mario Kölling, Sven Koopmans, Neophytos Loizides, Mara Malagodi, George Gray Molina, Luis Moreno, Andrew Liang Ngung, Raul Pangalangan, Cheryl Saunders, Nico Steytler, Rotimi Suberu, Thang Ci Thawng, José Tudela, Lucan Way, and Asanga Welikala. Other participants in the project who were unable to be present at Zaragoza but are part of the project include Harihar Bhattacharyya, Jason Gluck, John McGarry, and Marie-Joëlle Zahar.

The project will produce a series of outputs, including a policy manual and issue paper, aimed at an audience of advisors and practitioners working in the field; an edited volume combining case studies, thematic papers and a broad overview; and online working papers available freely online.

International IDEA will host an international conference in Winter 2014/15 for the release of the preliminary results of the project.

The project leads are Constitutional Transitions Director Sujit Choudhry, Visiting Fellow George Anderson, and the Project Director, Asanga Welikala.