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Archive for May, 2017

Federalism, defined as a form of government that strives to unite different socio-economic and cultural contexts into one political institutional framework, has a long history. Federalism requires a constant negotiation between local identity and federal integration as well as a new demarcation between the federal identity and the outsider. Since Antiquity, this political structure has undergone to a wide range of transformations that have both strengthened and threatened its existence. Recent political events, e.g. the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, highlight once more the tensions, failures and potential of federal constitutions, both in cases where these exist or The persistence of this precarious balance from the ancient to the modern states shows the potentiality and the risks of federalist structures.

This conference, generously supported by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, aims to explore possible links between federal states in Antiquity and today. It assumes that, despite the different historical contexts that are responsible for the formation of distinct federal systems, there are recurrent themes, which affect and influence federalism in both periods. By inviting papers that are connected to three of these recurrent themes, i.e. identity in federal states, their workings, and their ideology, the conference hopes to spark debate and provide new insights into continuities and discontinuities between ancient and modern forms of federalism.

Proposals are invited for 20- to 30-minute papers on topics relating to these three aspects of federalism. More specific topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to:

  • the influence of local identity on federal politics
  • the failure and/or success of federal states
  • institutions of federal states
  • the individual within federal states
  • the philosophy of federal states
  • the direct influence of Greek federations on their modern counterparts

Please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words and a short bio to Elke Close at E.Close@ed.ac.uk by 2 June 2017. For further enquiries about the conference, please contact Kasper Swerts (kswerts@exseed.ed.ac.uk), Alberto Esu (Alberto.Esu@ed.ac.uk) or Elke Close.

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