Call for Papers–The Separation of Powers: A Global Constitutional Dialogue–Milan, Italy

International Symposium on

The Separation of Powers
A Global Constitutional Dialogue

Inspired by Prof. Giovanni Bognetti’s book: La Separazione dei Poteri

Monday, May 22nd 2017, Sala Napoleonica
via Sant’Antonio 12, Milan, Italy

Convened by
Antonia Baraggia
Luca Pietro Vanoni
Richard Albert
Cristina Fasone

Subject-Matter of Symposium

Arguably no idea has been more central to democratic government than the separation of powers.

In his seminal book  La Separazione dei Poteri (Giuffrè, 2001), Prof. Giovanni Bognetti (1930-2013), an eminent Italian scholar of comparative law and the best-known Italian expert on American constitutional law, traced the history and the evolution of this foundational idea in modern constitutionalism.

According to Prof. Bognetti, we can distinguish two models of separation of powers: the “classic” model emerged in reaction to the centralization of powers typical of absolutist states as an effort to protect in individual liberties; the “social” model reflects the new paradigm of social rights protection in modern democracies. In the latter, according to Prof. Bognetti, we perceive a kind of political and legal transformation of the classic conception of separation of powers—a transformation that becomes even more pronounced against the backdrop of globalization, multiculturalism and the rise of supranational legal orders.

In light of the deep constitutional and political changes occurring at the turn of the new century in 2001 when his book was published, Prof. Bognetti concluded his book with thoughts on what would happen to the organization of political powers and to the separation of powers in the next 20 years (p. 176).

In May 2017, nearly 20 years later, we will gather in memory of Prof. Bognetti to host an international dialogue on the transformation of, prospects for, and challenges to the separation of powers in our contemporary setting.

Invited scholars will offer a variety of perspectives on the separation of powers in legal scholarship. Drawing from country-specific and cross-national experiences with separation of powers, invited scholars will take comparative, doctrinal, historical, legal and theoretical approaches to the study of the idea of separation of powers.

Structure of Symposium

This full-day Symposium on Monday, May 22nd, 2017, will be held entirely in English and will feature two roundtables and two panels, each with three presenters. The confirmed participants are: Prof. Jürgen Bast, Prof. Cindy Skach, Prof. Stephen Tierney, Prof. Jeremy Waldron, Prof. Anneli Albi, Prof. Leonard Besselink, Prof. Tommaso Edoardo Frosini, Prof. Giuseppe De Vergottini, Prof. Nicolò Zanon and Prof. Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich.

Possible Subjects for Paper Proposals

The Convenors invite submissions from scholars in public law at all levels, from doctoral candidates to senior professors. Submissions may address one or more of the following subjects from national, comparative, or European perspectives:

  1. The separation of powers in historical perspective
  2. The separation of powers and forms of government
  3. The separation of powers in the framework of the European Union: intra- and inter-State dynamics
  4. The separation of powers in times of crisis


To Submit an Abstract

Interested scholars are invited to submit a CV and an abstract no longer than 500 words by January 15th, 2017 to Applicants will be notified by February 15th, 2017. Full drafts of papers will be due by email to no later than April 15th, 2017. Papers should be no longer than 10,000 words (footnotes included).

A selection of papers presented at the Symposium will be published subject to successful blind peer-review.

There is no cost to participate in the conference. The Convenors will make arrangements for group meals. Presenters are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and incidental expenses. A limited number of small travel stipends, kindly provided by the Younger Comparativists Committee in the American Society of Comparative Law, will be awarded to younger scholars selected through the call. If you would like to be considered for a travel stipend, please make that request clearly in your submission.

For additional information, please contact Antonia Baraggia


About the Conveners

Richard Albert is a tenured Associate Professor and Nicholson Scholar at Boston College Law School. He writes on constitutional change, and he is currently completing a monograph on constitutional amendment to be published by Oxford University Press. He is Book Reviews Editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, which awarded him the Hessel Yntema Prize in 2010 for “the most outstanding article” on comparative law by a scholar under the age of 40. A graduate of Yale, Oxford and Harvard, he is a former law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada.

Antonia Baraggia is a Research Fellow in Constitutional Law at University of Milan, Department of National and Supranational Public Law. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Fordham University School of Law. Baraggia holds a PhD in Public Law from University of Turin. She serves as a member of the Affiliates Advisory Group of the YCC. Her research interests include citizenship, federalism, bicameralism, human rights, the right to education and the autonomy of Universities considered in comparative perspective.

Cristina Fasone is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Public Law at LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome, Department of Political Science and holder of a Jean Monnet Module on Parliamentary accountability and technical expertise: budgetary powers, information and communication technologies and elections (PATEU) (2017-2019) at LUISS School of Government. She has been a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow, EUI, Florence, and Visiting Scholar at the Victoria University of Wellington and at Uppsala University.

Luca Pietro Vanoni is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Law at University of Milan, Department of National and Supranational Public Law. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame University, Indiana and at City University of London. His main fields of research concern law and religion, federalism, data protection and immigration law in a comparative perspective.


About the Host Academic Institution

The University of Milan – Department of National and Supranational Public Law

The Department of Italian and Supranational Public Law at the University of Milan promotes and coordinates scientific research and teaching in administrative, constitutional, international, European Union and procedural civil law. The Department publishes and publicizes scholarship; organizes seminars as well as national and international meetings; manages relationships with equivalent European and world scientific institutions; maintains connections with academic institutions at home and abroad, and promotes scholarly exchange among professors and researchers. Consistent with the guidelines indicated in the European Research Area (ERA) Project, the Department favors a multidisciplinary approach to research.

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