Comparative constitutional design for divided societies: a model to explain vonstitutional asymmetries

Bonifati, Lidia (2023) Comparative constitutional design for divided societies: a model to explain vonstitutional asymmetries, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze giuridiche, 35 Ciclo.
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Comparative studies on constitutional design for divided societies indicate that there is no magic formula to the challenges that these societies pose, as lots of factors influence constitutional design. In the literature on asymmetric federalism, the introduction of constitutional asymmetries is considered a flexible instrument of ethnic conflict resolution, as it provides a mixture of the two main theoretical approaches to constitutional design for divided societies (i.e., integration and accommodation). Indeed, constitutional asymmetries are a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, as their degree of intensity can vary across constitutional systems, and there are both legal and extra-legal factors that may explain such differences. This thesis argues that constitutional asymmetries provide a flexible model of constitutional design and aims to explore the legal factors that are most likely to explain the different degrees of constitutional asymmetry in divided multi-tiered systems. To this end, the research adopts a qualitative methodology, i.e., Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), which allows an understanding of whether a condition or combination of conditions (i.e., the legal factors) determine the outcome (i.e., high, medium, low degree of constitutional asymmetry, or constitutional symmetry). The QCA is conducted on 16 divided multi-tiered systems, and for each case, the degree of constitutional asymmetry was analyzed by employing standardized indexes on subnational autonomy, allowing for a more precise measure of constitutional asymmetry than has previously been provided in the literature. Overall, the research confirms the complex nature of constitutional asymmetries, as the degrees of asymmetries vary substantially not only across systems but also within cases among the dimensions of subnational autonomy. The outcome of the Qualitative Comparative Analysis also confirms a path of complex causality since the different degrees of constitutional asymmetry always depend on several legal factors, that combined produce a low, medium, or high degree of constitutional asymmetry or, conversely, constitutional symmetry.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bonifati, Lidia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
constitutional design, constitutional asymmetry, federalism, divided societies, conflict resolution, qualitative comparative analysis, comparative constitutional law
Data di discussione
29 Maggio 2023

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