Workshop 20: “The Politics of Constitutional Change”
ECPR Joint Sessions, Rennes

Directors: Arthur Benz, César Colino


During the morning and afternoon sessions, we will have a coffee break at an appropriate time

The papers should be presented by the authors in about 20 minutes (maximum: 25). Discussants should introduce their comments to max. 10 minutes. The papers should be sent to us and the Central Service of the ECPR as an attached email file as soon as possible and certainly no later than 2 weeks before the Joint Sessions takes place (28 March 2008). The paper will then be posted on the web site.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

9.00 – 12.00

Introduction (Arthur Benz and César Colino)

1. General, Theoretical approaches

Astrid Lorenz, Negotiating constitutional amendments: A threshold model

(Discussant: Bjørn Erik Rasch)

Bjørn Erik Rasch, Constitutional rigidity and formal amendment procedures

(Discussant: Christian W. Martin)

12.00 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 17.00

Christian W. Martin, Thou shalt not exclude negative cases: Towards an explanation of electoral system change

(Discussant: Frank Hendriks)

Jan Erk, Federalism, society, and the direction of constitutional change

(Discussant: Dietmar Braun)

Michael Burgess, Putting the cart before the horse: The political strategy of constitutional change in federal states

(Discussant: César Colino)

18:30: Official opening followed by reception in Cloister hosted by IEP

Sunday, 13 April 2008,

9.00 – 12.00

2. Cases of constitutional change (representation, power distribution, minority rights, formal constitutionalisation, etc.)

Frank Hendriks, Democratic reform between the extreme makeover and the reinvention of tradition: the case of the Netherlands

(Discussant: Kavita Ziemann)

Kavita Ziemann, Elite support for constitutional reforms in the Netherlands

(Discussant: Astrid Lorenz)

Nicolas DeDecker, From national to sister parties. Multiplication and autonomisation of the veto players in the Belgian constitutional debates

(Discussant: Jan Erk)

12.00: Excursions

Monday, 14 April 2008,

9.00 – 12.00

Sharon Weinblum, Explaining the unpleasant status quo of a semi-constitutional state: an analysis of the Israeli quest for a written constitution

(Discussant: Ofer Kenig)

Ofer Kenig, Amnon Cavari, Israel‘s long and winding road to a constitution: Main issues, actors and political balance

(Discussant: Sharon Weinblum)

Omer Faruk Genckaya, The politics of constitutional change in Turkey

(Discussant: Gabriel L. Negretto)

12.00 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 17.00

Jasper de Raadt, Contested constitutions – The sources and implications of constitutional conflict in East Central Europe

(Discussant: Detlef Nolte)

Detlef Nolte, Constitutional change in Latin America: Power politics or symbolic politics?

(Discussant: Jasper de Raadt)

Gabriel L. Negretto, The logic of constitutional change: Evidence from Latin America

(Discussant: Omer Faruk Genckaya)

18.30: Reception at Town Hall

Tuesday, 15 April 2008,

9.00 – 12.00

3. Constitutional reform of federations, reform of territorial organisation

Nathalie Behnke, Towards a new organisation of federal states? – Lessons from the processes of constitutional reform in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

(Discussant: Nicolas DeDecker)

Dietmar Braun, Björn Uhlmann, Raffael Himmelsbach, Constitutional change in Switzerland

(Discussant: Nathalie Behnke)

Simon Toubeau, Nationalists in the driver’s seat? Bargaining power, agenda setting and constitutional reform in ‘holding together’ federations

(Discussant: Michael Burgess)

12.00 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 17.00

Alan Trench, Devolving power in a union state: Three phases of constitutional development in Wales

(Discussant: Simon Toubeau)

4. EU, International Organisations

Daniel Finke, Beyond Maastricht: Constitutional politics in the European Union and its domestic origins

(Discussant: Carlos Closa)

Carlos Closa, The effects of ratification procedures on EU constitutional politics

(Discussant: Timothy S. Boylan)

18.00: Visit to the “Parlement de Bretagne” and/or guided city tour

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

9.00 – 10.45

Timothy S. Boylan, From the Constitutional Treaty to the Reform Treaty

(Discussant: Christine Landfried)

Annika Frisch, Christine Landfried, Kolja Raube, Actors of constitutional change: A comparison between the European Union and the United Nations

(Discussant: Daniel Finke)

10.45 – 12.00: Concluding Discussion

12.00: Lunch

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