Subnational Participatory Democracy

3b/2021: Subnational Participatory Democracy: Autonomy Convention and Consulta for the Revision of the Autonomy Statute of the Region Trentino-South Tyrol

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This project aims to scientifically analyse the implementation of the so-called Autonomy Convention and the Consulta for the revision of the Second Autonomy Statute of the Autonomous Region Trentino-South Tyrol.

After a series of discussion events, within 2017 a process of work sessions involving South Tyrol's and Trentino's citizens, politicians, stakeholders and legal experts led to proposals for the revision of the Autonomy Statute (South Tyrol: provincial law no. 3 of 23 April 2015 and Trentino: provincial law no. 1 of 2 February 2016).

The processes—led by the two Provincial Councils—marked a unique moment in the development of the autonomy, and it is of high interest for the academic community because it takes place at subnational level and, in case of South Tyrol, within a plurilingual context and consociational setting. Therefore, the processes as well as the entire revision of the Autonomy Statutes are scientifically monitored and analyzed by both the Institute for Comparative Federalism, and the Institute for Minority Rights.

For the South Tyrolean context it is of importance to understand in how far participatory democratic processes can lead to a commonly shared way forward or if such an involvement is an inappropriate and little welcome means of ameliorating and complementing representative decision-making in South Tyrol. For the international academic community general remarks on subnational participatory processes in minority contexts will be of interest, from a legal, political science and historical perspective. A similar reasoning applies to the territory of Trentino.

For the Institutes, this research project opens up new projects and vastly extends their networks in the field of autonomy studies, minority rights, deliberative democracy and institutional innovation, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The resulting insights offer much added value for the scientific community and for South Tyrol as a border territory within Europe and in the world.

Democratic innovations in (subnational) constitution-making: the institutionalized case(s) of the Italian Provinces of Trento and Bolzano
Trettel M (2021)
Journal article
Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research

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