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Transnational Societal Constitutionalism

International Conference Torino, 17-19 May 2012, starting 09:30 hrs

Collegio Carlo Alberto, Moncalieri, Turin, Italy

Over the past few years, a series of political scandals have raised the ‘new constitutional question’. Multinational corporations violated human rights; private intermediaries in the internet threatened freedom of opinion, and recently, with particular impact, the global capital markets unleashed catastrophic risks — all of these pose constitutional problems in the strict sense. It is outside the limits of the nation-state in transnational politics and, at the same time, outside institutionalized politics, in the ‘private’ sectors of global society that these constitutional problems arise. In the conference, social scientists and lawyers will discuss the question whether Constitutionalism has the potential to counteract the expansionist tendencies of social systems outside the state, particularly the globalized economy, science and technology, and the information media, when they endanger individual or institutional autonomy.

For more information and registration, please visit the official conference website at or send an e-mail to

Thursday, May 17th

09:30 Welcome & Registration

10:00 Introduction:  New constitutional conflicts

Gunther Teubner, Turin & Anna Beckers, Maastricht

I. Beyond nation state constitutions: The move to the ‘societal’ and to the ‘transnational’

Chair: Hans Lindahl

10:30 A sociology of constituent power: The political code of transnational societal constitutions

Christopher Thornhill, Glasgow

11:20-11:50 Coffee break & posters

11:50 The elusive social dimension of ‘societal constitutionalism’

Emilios Christodoulidis, Glasgow

II. New constitutional subjects: Transnational regimes, the cosmopolitan state, global assemblages?

Chair: Michel Scheltema

12:40 Constitutionalism and global private ordering

Mattias Kumm, New York

13:30-15:00 Lunch break & posters

15:00 We and cyberlaw: Constitutionalism and the inclusion/exclusion difference

Hans Lindahl, Tilburg

15:50 Enabling constitutions: The new constitutional framework in the age of access

Riccardo Prandini, Bologna

16:40-17:10 Coffee break & posters

17:10 Emergent globally bordered spaces: Anti-terrorism, global finance, and so much more

Saskia Sassen, New York

18:00 End

Friday, May 18th

III. Constitutional arenas

Chair: Paul Schiff Berman

09:30 Occupy the system! Societal constitutionalism and the global economy

Moritz Renner, Berlin

10:20 Private governance of knowledge: Societally crafted IP regimes

Dan Wielsch, Cologne

11:10-11:40 Coffee break & posters

11:40 Constitution making and constitutive power of the commons

Ugo Mattei, Turin

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break & posters

14:00 Constitutionalisation of non-governmental certification programmes

Jaye Ellis, Montreal

IV. Collisions of transnational constitutions

Chair: Alfred Aman

14:50 Procedural principles for managing global legal pluralism

Paul Schiff Berman, Washington D.C.

15:40 – 16:10 Coffee break & posters

16:10 Conflicts-law constitutionalism, societal constitutionalism and the power of technicity

Christian Joerges, Bremen

17:00 End

Saturday, May 19th

09:30 The constitutionalism of trans-normative Law – Towards a general theory

Poul Kjaer, Copenhagen

V. Human rights and private power

Chair: Christopher Thornhill

10:20 Fundamental rights, private law and societal constitution: On the logic of the so-called horizontal effect

Florian Rödl, Frankfurt

11:10-11:40 Coffee break & posters

11:40 Corporate constitutionalism from below: The role of NGOs and social movements

Gavin Anderson, Glasgow

12:30 Hierarchical power arrangements and horizontal effects in human rights regimes

Larry Catá Backer, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

13:20 End