The Institute pursues comparative studies and applied research on federal, regional and local governmental trends. The scientific approach is mostly based on legal comparison as a method of analysis of governance in multi-layered systems.
As a result of modern processes in the vertical division of powers, hierarchy in domestic and international public law systems is losing its importance in favor of a more nuanced legal integration.
This trend towards a multi-sphere structure of vertical division of powers is the underlying research assumption of the Institute. The Institute investigates the legal tools for coping with the management of ever more complex and plural decision-making, both within Europe and worldwide.
Geographically located in between the 'mature' federal systems of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and the Italian "federation in the making", the Institute is a crossroads for different approaches to regionalism and federalism. It has thus always paid particular attention to issues such as cross-border cooperation, external powers of sub-national entities and autonomy as a tool for diversity management. The Institute’s location in a territory of well-established, far-reaching and asymmetrical autonomy provides a privileged position to observe and study such phenomena. Thus, its researchers carry out projects and offer scholarly works, courses, conferences and expertise to the scientific and political debate on these issues.
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