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Interdisciplinary Political Studies – Call for articles for the Special Issue “The Politics and Policies of Constitutional Reforms in Times of Crisis and Great Transformations”

(Guest Editors: Diego Giannone and Adriano Cozzolino) – Deadline for Abstracts: June 26th, 2020

The subject of constitutional reform has triggered a huge number of debates in legal scholarship and political/legal philosophy over the last century and beyond. Yet, in the last few decades political scientists and political economists too have increasingly paid attention to constitutional policies and the politics of constitutional reform. Thus, over time political science scholarship has devoted increasing attention to several topics including: political actors, coalitions and processes of constitutional reform and constitutional referenda; the changing relation between the global economy and national constitution; the use of exceptional legislative measures to enact specific policies in sectors such as security, as well as fiscal and economic policy.While the ongoing attention of political scientists towards the constitution is particularly relevant in terms of analytical breadth and empirical accuracy, this special issue aims to fill a gap in the literature by problematizing the relation between the recent socio-economic crisis and the following issues:

  • constitutional reforms (actual or tentative);
  • the activation of exceptional/emergency constitutional powers to enact specific policies and bills;
  • the ‘twist’ of ordinary constitutional procedures in absence of constitutional reforms, thus as a de facto (anti-constitutional?) practice;
  • the relation between patterns of presidentialization of politics and the politics of constitutional reforms;
  • the types and nature of changes in the polity through constitutional reform.

Time-wise, the special issue is particularly interested in understanding the developments of the politics and policies of constitutional reforms after the global financial crisis of 2008, in order to appreciate whether, to what extent, through which procedures, with which impact on the polity and by implementing which policies the crisis might have served as an enabling condition to (a) strengthen the constitutional patterns already in place before the crisis; (b) introduce new practices and reforms of the constitution; (c) reverse some of the political and institutional trends manifested prior to the crisis. However, diachronic analyses between critical junctures are also welcomed (for example, in the Italian case, by comparing the phases 1992-93 and post-2008). The Special Issue welcomes submissions based on single case studies as well as comparative analyses (both cross-country and at the regional level, i.e. the European Union), as well as international constitutional law perspectives. Analyses of the interactions between constitutional changes at one level (i.e. the EU) and outcomes at another (in the last case, at Member State level) are likewise welcomed. Eventually, the special issue welcomes also analyses concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on ordinary constitutional procedures, namely whether/to what extent the pandemic has opened an opportunity to reform the constitution or circumvent the separation of powers e.g. in favour of further executive strengthening.


Range of potential topics:

  1. Politics and policies of constitutional reforms;
  2. Discourses, actors and coalitions of constitutional reforms;
  3. Presidentialization and the politics of constitutional reform;
  4. Personalization of constitutional reforms and referenda;
  5. (Overlapping) multilevel dimensions of constitutional change;
  6. Cases of de facto constitutional-level change without constitutional reforms;
  7. Critical junctures and the reform of the constitution;
  8. Tensions and fractures between global capitalism(s) and national constitution(s);
  9. Similar and dissimilar cases in constitutional changes after the global crisis of 2008;
  10. Exceptional constitutional powers: circumstances, cases, and outcomes;
  11. Rising global neo-authoritarianism and constitutional change;
  12. Covid-19 pandemic and constitutional reforms.

If you are interested in writing an article for this special issue, please send an email with your name and institutional affiliation, an abstract of approximately 250-300 words, and a short bio of no more than 200 words to the guest editors by June 26th, 2020:

Diego Giannone* ( Cozzolino* (

*Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche “Jean Monnet”, Università della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”.

All proponents will be informed about their inclusion in the special issue within two weeks. The first draft of the article will be expected to be delivered at the end of September (max. 8,000 words with references).

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