2e/2018: Intergovernmental relations in divided societies
Many divided societies in Europe and beyond are grappling with identity-based political tensions and conflicts. Most recent examples are the post-election violence in Kenya, the ethnic unrest in Ethiopia, and, in Europe, the continuing uncertainties about the territorial integrity of countries like Spain, the United Kingdom and Belgium in the face of secessionist claims. These and other countries use territorial autonomy, within a federal or decentralized framework, to manage their divided societies. What needs in this context particular attention, and has been neglected by studies so far, is the integration of autonomous territories into the legal and political framework of the state, in particular, through their relations with the national government. These relations are equally important because they serve as a vehicle for promoting a cohesive society and reconciling the tension between unity and diversity. This project focuses on investigating the relevance and effectiveness of intergovernmental institutions and processes in the management of divided societies where territorial autonomy is used to deal with communal tensions. Using a comparative research method, it will identify and develop innovative integrative instruments of intergovernmental relations.