Institut für Föderalismus
Faculté de droit

2017 IACFS Conference

The Principle of Equality in Diverse States – Reconciling Autonomy with Equal Rights and Opportunities

When: 12–13 October 2017
Where: Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Contact: Thea Baechler


The Institute of Federalism will host the 2017 Conference of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies (IACFS) this October. The symposium will deal with the challenge of guaranteeing the principle of equality in diverse states (societies), especially in countries which have adopted federal or decentralised systems of any other arrangement allowing for the accommodation of groups or territories with distinct identity.

The main objective of the Conference is to explore the different ways which states characterised by diversity use to reconcile autonomy with the principle of equality and constitutional guarantees of equal rights and opportunities of their citizens. While uniform states or homogenous societies find it easy (at least in theory) to guarantee equal rights to all the geographic entities and all citizens of the country, the principle of equality raises several complex issues in states which guarantee autonomy rights to one, several or all (constituent) entities or which provide specific regimes for distinct groups.