CfP: Cities in Federal Theory Workshop


Invitation to Contribute to the Cities in Federal Theory Workshop, 20 - 21 June 2019 at Melbourne Law School

Cities, especially metropolitan cities and megacities, are unique socio-economic spaces where there is constant need to reconcile diversity and social cohesion through legal tools. Academic scholarship has extensively studied cities from different perspectives (anthropology, sociology, etc), while in federalism studies a voluminous literature exists on local governance. Yet, the city remains an understudied subject from a strictly legal/constitutional perspective.

The purpose of this workshop is to gather scholars from around the world and engage in a broad discussion about the role and place of cities in federalism. More precisely, the workshop aims at investigating whether metropolitan areas in federal and quasi-federal systems have the potential to become the new strategic level of governance to accommodate diverse communities in vast areas displaying unique socio-economic and political traits, as well as the legal stratagems and tools to better respond to the specific pressures and exigencies of densely populated areas. Although the structure and powers vested to cities differ from one another, in a more and more globalized and connected world the attention for cities also testifies to a parallel return to the bottom, to the local dimension, to the very basic core of the social community: this is where the principle of subsidiarity might come into play.

Applications are invited from scholars in full-time post-doctoral fellowships or from entry level academics (i.e. academics who have held a full time academic appointment for no more than 5 years) who wish to submit a paper for discussion on the final day of the Institute.

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

  1. The city as a legal concept

  2. How cities are treated in federal and quasi-federal systems (examples include capital cities, city-states)

  3. The way forward and future developments

To apply submit:

  • An abstract no longer than 750 words, and list which of the above themes you are addressing

  • A current curriculum vitae

  • In the email, identify your submission with the following subject line heading “Cities in Federal Theory”

Selected papers will be proposed for a publication of conference proceedings.

Email your inquiries and applications to the Workshop Chair, Dr. Erika Arban by 1 November 2018.

This workshop is an initiative of the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law, a program 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.