The tripartite model of separation of powers has been an important building block of modern constitutionalism.

Even though the situation on the ground has always been messier than this slick normative ideal and the political exigencies never held fully to the prescriptions of the tripartite model, there is an emerging consensus that separation of powers is under pressure from significant number of novel challenges (think of Covid-19), both in consolidated and new democracies. This interest groups examines how separation of powers responds to the current socio-political forces such as populism or declining public trust in the state. We will build on the insights on separation of powers from constitutional theory, theory of the state (Staatslehre) and jurisprudence. But in this working group we want to go deeper and study the structure and functioning of separation of powers not only conceptually and normatively, but also empirically. We invite scholars from different disciplines and are particularly keen to integrate insights from democratic theory, political science and sociology into the mainstream legal thinking on separation of powers. We are also interested in how separation of powers has developed in individual countries, responding to the various external (such as the membership in supranational organizations) as well as internal (such as the rise of populism) developments to the given state.


David Kosar, Eoin Carolan, Michaela Hailbronner, Sergio Verdugo, Tarun Khaitan, Swati Jhaveri, Mathieu Leloup

Upcoming chapter events, projects, and activities

We have plans for a handbook on the separation of powers and will be sharing more information with the group shortly.


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