Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Russian Constitution in the Global Context

June, 27 – 9:30 am CET
Our partner Institute of Global Reconstitution workshop will discuss the prospective Russian constitutional order within the broader debate about the future of constitutionalism around the world.

Over the past decade, there have been a number of impactful constitutional experiments around the world, such as in Chile or Iceland, both in terms of innovative constitutional proposals and in terms of formats of constitution-making. Such experiments are intended to find answers to a number of challenges in constitutional thought. Contemporary constitutional orders are living through difficult times. Oftentimes, they are identified as the reasons for democratic deficit or obstacles to popular sovereignty. Similar concerns arise in the context of supranational constitutional developments, as well as national politics, when existing arrangements are under strain due to democratic backsliding or, conversely, due to demands for greater democratization.

This workshop will address these general issues by discussing the case of Russia. Its Constitution, adopted in the days of a powerful wave of democratization, raised hopes that it would help build a predictable democratic order. The origins of the Constitution in the major political crisis in 1993 have been the subject of much debate. Distorted by the 2020 amendments, it now serves as the legal framework for military aggression and domestic repression. Anticipating political changes in Russia, activists and experts are seeking to formulate alternative visions for a new constitution. However, it is crucial to situate the discussion of the prospective Russian constitutional order within the broader debate about the future of constitutionalism around the world.

The workshop will contribute to a conversation about these fundamental challenges and link them to specific historical developments in Russian constitutionalism, bringing together some of the leading theorists of constitutional and comparative law. Participants will examine alternative constitutional designs and evaluate how they seek to address some of the pressing political concerns. An experimental constitutional draft developed by the Institute for Global Reconstitution will be made available for discussion.

‍Speakers and Panels

‍I. New Developments in Constitution-Making
Camila Vergara (University of Essex)
Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University)
Angelika Nußberger (University of Cologne, online)‍

II. Key Challenges for a New Constitution for Russia
Tobias Rupprecht (Free University Berlin)
Ekaterina Mishina (Brīvā Universitāte, online)
Caroline von Gall (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Greg Yudin (Princeton University/IGRec, online)‍

III. Comparing the Projects
Artemy Magun (IGRec)
Evgeny Roshchin (Princeton University/IGRec, online)
Peter Safronov (University of Amsterdam)

Date: 27 June 2024
Time: 9:30 CET
Language: English‍
Venue: Humboldt University, Luisenstraße 56, Room 220