Call for Papers: Workshop on “Federalism and Socio-economic Inequalities”

by | Nov 3, 2019

Federalism is considered one of the most promising constitutional mechanisms to help deal with the challenges posed by the process of globalization and increasing inequality, in addition to being an extraordinary tool for dealing with various forms of diversity (ethnic, religious, linguistic, etc.)

To this end, the purpose of this workshop is to gather scholars from around the world and engage in a broad discussion about the new challenges and potentials of federalism in dealing with the most pressing issues of our contemporary time. It is anticipated that there will be 15-25 workshop attendees.

Applications are invited from scholars wishing to submit a paper exploring one of the following major themes:

  1. The study of the role of local government and cities as new key players in the management of public services and natural resources and in the protection of rights. Today, cities are key players in current globalization processes, and often they are at the forefront of rights protection, experimenting with new ways of governance. Cities are also actors of constitutional relevance: the phenomenon of so-called “big-cities” is worth studying from a constitutional and comparative perspective within federal theory.
  2. How federalism-based mechanisms can provide answers to the socio-economic pressures that have emerged particularly in the Global South. In other words, how can federal constitutions balance their unifying role while fostering economic diversity? Likewise, can federalism be regarded as a proper institutional and constitutional mechanism to reconcile social cohesion and economic diversity in territories marked by a sharp divide between wealthier developed regions and poorer less advanced territories?
  3. The role of federalism as a tool to deal with the growing complexity of a multilevel constitutional space and the new challenges posed by the economic crisis, large-scale human migration and the globalization of constitutional systems. Here, the focus is not only on traditional federal systems but also on regional and
    supranational contexts.


Successful applications will be required to attend the workshop and to submit a paper of 8,000 – 10,000 words for discussion. Further, the paper must not have been published. Papers must be submitted by 19 April 2020.

To apply submit the following:

  1. An abstract of no more than 750 words. In the abstract head your paper with the theme you have chosen among the three outlined in this document.
  2. A current curriculum vitae. Please include your title as applicable, e.g. Dr. Mr. Ms., and underline your last name.
  3. In the subject line of the email application write, “Federalism and Socio-economic Inequalities” and add your name.


Email your inquiries and applications to the workshop Chair, Dr. Erika Arban at

Please note that accepted participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

This workshop is a joint initiative of the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law and the Department of National and Supranational Public Law of the University of Milan (Italy). The Laureate Program is funded by the Australian Research Council for 2017-2022 and based at Melbourne Law School, which is also home to a large group of comparative constitutional law scholars working at the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Important dates (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

Application submission due: 15 December 2019

Notification of acceptance: 14 January 2020

Paper submission due: 19 April 2020

Workshop: 13 May 2020

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