Past Event

Forms of Pluralism and Democratic Constitutionalism

June 17, 2016 - June 18, 2016
2:00 AM
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A two-day conference at Sciences Po, Paris on Forms of Pluralism and Democratic Constitutionalism, to discuss plausible ways of managing pluralism in a post-sovereign world compatible with democratic constitutionalism. Federalism, status group legal pluralism, corporate group autonomy, and subsidiarity are the four main themes which will be examined. Our aim is to discuss four plausible ways to manage pluralism in a ‘post-sovereign’ world: federalism, status group pluralism, corporate group autonomy, and subsidiarity. The following questions animate our inquiry: What forms of legally instituted organized pluralism are compatible with democratic constitutionalism? What principles should structure the allocation of jurisdiction and representation in a democratic polity and/or transnationally? Our aim is to engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue on the best match between the core principles of democratic constitutionalism (equal liberty, voice, equal status, and justice for all individuals) and the various strategies for including, integrating, and managing pluralism that have become salient again in the 21st century. These include versions of federalism, political secularism or multiple establishment of religions, status group legal pluralism for minorities (religious, ethnic, and linguistic), revival of the corporate form as a mode of governance, and the subsidiarity principle as an allegedly flexible multi-level governance alternative to federalism and to state sovereignty. We include both theoretical and empirical contributions as well as relevant and comparative case studies (South Africa, Israel, India, Belgium, Canada) and we are open to a variety of ways of addressing the four alternatives. Co-organized by Jean Cohen, Nell and Herbert Singer Professor of Political Theory, Columbia University; Andrew Arato, Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor of Political and Social Theory, The New School; and Astrid von Busekist, Professor in Political Sciences, Sciences Po.