Winter School with Full Scholarships - Federalism and Governance - Conflict and Cooperation in Federal Systems, 1-12 February 2016, Austria, Italy

Publish Date: Jul 26, 2016

Deadline: Oct 25, 2016

Event Dates: from Feb 01, 2017 12:00 to Feb 12, 2017 12:00

What is the Winter School about?

The Winter School is a two-week international postgraduate programme on federalism, regionalism and multilevel governance. A wide range of lectures provides the opportunity for participants to broaden their knowledge of multilevel governance, especially from the perspectives of legal and political sciences. Renowned experts in the field lead courses and workshops on federalism and its challenges in the Winter School's international learning environment that features top-notch scholars coming from different backgrounds and from around the globe.

The Winter School explores, from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, how federalism can contribute to multilevel, integrated and pluralistic decision-making.

The 2016 edition will cover conflict and cooperation in federal systems. For one week at the University of Innsbruck and one week at the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC), participants will analyze both the effectiveness of federalism as a tool to solve intergovernmental conflicts and discuss the relevant constitutional instruments and institutions in multilevel systems.

Who Can Participate?

The Winter School is open to all nationalities and is designed for those who wish to upgrade their knowledge through an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, including:

  • post-docs, postgraduate students and young researchers
  • civil servants from a local, regional or national government
  • employees of international organizations or NGOs
  • Please note that the programme builds on an assumed prior knowledge of federalism.

What To Expect In Innsbruck And Bolzano/Bozen?

The two-week programme is embedded in an exciting international-learning environment in Austria (Innsbruck, Tyrol) and in Italy (Bolzano/Bozen, South Tyrol) and includes:

  • lectures by distinguished academics
  • discussions and case studies
  • study visits to political institutions
  • interactive workshops and a public lecture
  • The Winter School is held entirely in English


  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anna Gamper
    Full Professor at the Department of Public Law, State and Administrative Theory at the Faculty of Law, University of Innsbruck.
  • Prof. Dr. Francesco Palermo
    Head of the EURAC Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism in Bolzano/Bozen and Professor of Comparative Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Verona.
  • Univ.-Prof. DDr. Günther Pallaver
    Full Professor at the School of Political Science and Sociology, University of Innsbruck.

Dates and venues

  • 1-5 February 2016 in Innsbruck (Tyrol, Austria)
  • 8-12 February 2016 in Bolzano/Bozen (South Tyrol, Italy)

The first week of the Winter School (1-5 February 2016) takes place at the Faculty of Law and at the School of Political Science and Sociology of Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Austria; the second week (8-12 February 2016) at the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism of the European Academy Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC), Italy. The Winter School will last two weeks that are divided into lectures and discussion sessions, interactive workshops, study visits in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen and a public lecture.

Please note that it is not possible to attend only one week of the programme.

Content and objectives

The 2016 edition of the Winter School will focus on "Conflict and Cooperation in Federal Systems". The two week programme will analyze both the effectiveness of federalism as a tool to solve intergovernmental conflicts and discuss the relevant constitutional instruments and institutions in multilevel systems, such as second chambers or constitutional courts. Furthermore, hot topics such as fiscal federalism and the role of political parties in promoting conflict or cooperation will be discussed. Among the practical case studies from different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe), special attention will be paid to recent secessionist movements in Europe and possibilities for their solution.

Beside numerous opportunities for discussion with renowned experts on multilevel governance throughout the lectures, interactive sessions will also offer participants the chance to share knowledge among themselves. Workshops will address asymmetries in multilevel systems, financial relations, political parties, as well as the policy field of environmental protection.

The Winter School will examine a series of issues:

  • How can federalism be used to improve mediate conflicts between territories?
  • Which role can courts play in managing conflicts in multilevel systems?
  • What are the characteristics of successful models of cooperative federalism?
  • To what extent are second chambers a tool to integrate subnational entities?
  • How can intergovernmental bodies be used to prevent conflicts?
  • Is territorial autonomy in divided societies a tool for conflict or cooperation?
  • What is the role of political parties in intergovernmental relations?
  • What can constitutions offer vis-à-vis secessionist movements?
  • What lessons can be learned from comparative practice?
  • The Winter School 2016 examines these and other questions by combining theoretical expertise and relevant case studies.
  • As such, the programme is a unique opportunity for young academics, postgraduate students and practitioners to receive enhanced training on the theoretical and practical aspects of federalism and multilevel governance.

Workshops during the Winter School

For half a day of the Winter School the group of participants will be divided into four workshops in which they will discuss different topics with experts on...

A) Asymmetries
B) Fiscal Relations
C) Political Parties
D) Policy field: Environment

Applicants must select one of these four topics to be discussed in the workshop and submit an abstract in the application form (please see further details at Application).

At the end of the Winter School, a certificate of attendance will be awarded to participants who have attended at least 95% of all classes. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to submit a working paper after the Winter School (not compulsory!). The best papers will be considered for publication. Further details will be available during the Winter School. ​


In order to apply for the Winter School on Federalism and Governance 2016, candidates have to submit a completed application form (PDF or Word form) via email to to find the application form visit the "Further official information" below, then go to "Application" section below the video.

In the application form you will be asked to submit:

  • personal data
  • relevant academic and professional education
  • work experience (if applicable)
  • a statement of motivation (max. 250 words)
  • and a short academic essay (max. 500 words) on one of the topics listed below.

Please apply using the application form which you can download by clicking to "Further official information" below and following to "Application" section.

To support their application, candidates can submit a short letter or statement of recommendation (from their educational institution and/or workplace) along with the application form.

After completing the application form, please save it and email it to

Only complete application forms (including all required personal data, motivation and abstract) will be taken into consideration. Please send only the application form and - if available - a short letter or statement of recommendation. No additional documents are required.

Application deadline: Sunday, 25 October 2015, 23:59 MESZ.

For problems and questions please contact

Detailed information regarding the academic essay for the application

  1. The topics for the essay are as follows:
  2. Asymmetries
  3. Fiscal Relations
  4. Political Parties
  5. Policy Field: Environment

As part of your application we ask you to write a short essay of max. 500 words answering ONE of the questions (see below) related to your favourite topic. For half a day during the Winter School, workshops will be held on these four topics. Based on your choice of topic, you will be assigned to one of the four working groups.

A) Asymmetries

How do de jure asymmetries, i.e. differences regarding the legislative/executive powers or financial regimes of subnational entities within one and the same state, impact intergovernmental relations? Do they rather spark conflict or facilitate cooperation? Please analyze this question based on one or several case studies.
How do de facto asymmetries, i.e. variations in territorial size, population or wealth of the subnational entities, impact intergovernmental relations? Do they rather spark conflict or facilitate cooperation? Please analyze this question based on one or several case studies.

B) Fiscal Relations

Financial relations are a privileged area for intergovernmental conflict. What type of institutions have countries set up to prevent or settle these conflicts? Please use examples.
What general comparative trends can be noticed with regard to judicial adjudication of intergovernmental financial conflicts? Please use examples.

C) Political Parties

To what extent does party fragmentation and/or centralization contribute to conflict or cooperation in multilevel systems? Please analyze this question based on more than one party of your choice.
Electoral systems and electoral law as reflections of social change: How does their design influence centrifugal or centripetal tendencies in multilevel systems? Please use examples.

D) Policy Field: Environment

What are the most common conflicts arising between national, regional and local levels in managing and protecting natural resources? What are the most common legal (and political) channels to settle them?
Are inter-institutional conflicts in the environmental field decreasing or increasing in more recent times and why? Is case law of constitutional/supreme courts favouring the centre or the periphery and why?

Applications which are successfully submitted and valid will receive a confirmation via e-mail within 5 working days after submission.

Due to the volume of applications, only short-listed applicants will be contacted by 4 December 2015.
The enrolment procedure (including payment of the tuition fee) has to be completed within 7 working days after notification.


The participation fee for the Winter School on Federalism and Governance 2016 is € 250,00 (= two weeks Winter School excluding accommodation).

  • This participation fee covers: course materials, guided tours in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen, bus transfer from Innsbruck to Bolzano/Bozen at the end of week 1 (Saturday, 6th February 2016), welcome coffee and welcome lunch, welcome dinner, access to the libraries and internet access at both venue sites (i.e. at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Innsbruck and at EURAC Bolzano/Bozen).
  • The participation fee does NOT cover: Accommodation, meals, travel costs and other expenses not listed above
    Participants do, however, have the possibility to book their accommodation in Innsbruck and Bolzano through the organizers.

​Both single and twin room accommodations are available on a first-come-first-serve basis upon enrolment. The participation fee (without and with accommodation) has to be paid upon enrolment in December 2015.


If desired, the accommodation in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen can be arranged through the Winter School organizers (see single and twin room options above). Participants will be booked in standard guesthouses and in modern student halls of residence in quietly located areas of town, both in Innsbruck and in Bolzano/Bozen. In any other case, participants will have to organize their accommodation themselves.


The organizers of the Winter School will award a limited number of scholarships. The organizers distinguish between:

  • Full Scholarships - covering the accommodation costs in a 3 or 4-bed room for 13 nights plus breakfast in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen and a small contribution towards the participants' travel expenses (refund after the Winter School). max. 3 scholarships are available.
  • Partial Scholarships - covering the accommodation costs in a 3 or 4-bed room in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen for 13 nights plus breakfast. max. 7 scholarships are available.
    Scholarships are limited and will be awarded based on merit and need; preference will be given to students and applicants from non-European countries.

Please note that holders of these scholarships are still required to pay a participation fee of € 150,00 upon enrolment. The scholarships will be awarded after all applications have been processed by the end of November 2015.

Cancellation policy: In case of a cancellation after 6 January 2016, the organizers will refund the participation fee minus 10% and minus the incurred costs.​

For more information click "Further official information" below. 

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