Constitutional Crises and Regionalism


Constitutional Crises and Regionalism

9781839107092 Edward Elgar Publishing
Vito Breda, Senior Lecturer in Law, School of Law and Justice, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 83910 709 2 Extent: 284 pp
This informative book analyses regional constitutional crises, where a large portion of residents no longer believe that the rule of law, as defined by central institutions, governs them. Laying out a framework for effective governance in divided societies, Vito Breda argues that peace and collaboration are linked to managing shared beliefs through constitutional law.

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This insightful book analyses regional constitutional crises, where a large portion of residents no longer believe that the rule of law, as defined by central institutions, governs them. Laying out a framework for effective governance in divided societies, Vito Breda argues that peace and collaboration are linked to managing shared beliefs through constitutional law.

Adopting a pragmatic view of regional identity as constantly changing and creating a mistrust of rule by ‘others’, Breda explores a wide range of case studies, including Hong Kong, Northern Ireland and Quebec, where nationalism and political violence have led to state actions becoming discredited. Particular attention is paid to those concerned with the lingering effects of a colonial past in China. The book demonstrates that constitutional law projects visions of what a society is and wants to be, and argues that less hegemonic perspectives increase the likelihood of cooperation, leading to better outcomes for all citizens.

The book will be an informative read for academics and students in comparative public law political scientists, and sociologists interested in nationalism and democracy. It will also aid policy-makers seeking to design stable, effective and inclusive constitutions.
Critical Acclaim
‘This is an insightful book that makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of constitutional crises and regionalism. It is essential reading for those interested in comparative law, conflict resolution, nationalism, minority politics, and territorial politics more broadly, with something for all—lawyers, political scientists, and sociologists alike.’
– Paul Anderson, The Journal of Federalism

‘This book by Vito Breda constitutes a major exploration of a series of ethno-regionalism cases in Europe, North America, East Asia and Oceania through the lenses of constitutionalism and territorial politics. The author convincingly illustrates how cooperation among groups, respect between key political partners, and the protection of human dignity contribute to create the necessary conditions for political stability and reciprocity. Complementary to this sustained account, a crucial point is made to the effect that permanent negotiations among political partners open the way to the expansion of the democratic exercise while instilling a culture of togetherness. A must-read for anyone interested in the development of multinational democracies.’
– Alain-G. Gagnon, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

‘Regionalism is in the midst of a renaissance, and there is no scholar better than Vito Breda to assess the challenges and opportunities regionalism raises for constitutional stability and performance. Timely and inspired, this study of sub-state identity-formation exposes deep fissures in multinational societies but charts a hopeful path for managing regional constitutional crises.’
– Richard Albert, University of Texas, US

‘Complex realities require complex analyses and cannot be solved with simplism. The current crises need thoughtful and in-depth research to shed light on the intense fog in which they seem to exist. Vito Breda''s latest book analyzes and illuminates some of the most important problems of current constitutionalism and regionalisms that sometimes attack the status quo. It offers a perspective far beyond the usual and fascinating points of view. Very useful to understand the world where we live.’
– Iñigo Navarro Mendizabal, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain

‘In his latest book, constitutional scholar Vito Breda once again draws on his broad erudition to construct a comprehensively researched, insightful and often startlingly original take on his subject. Breda is a skilled mosaicist: he relies on case studies from several continents to produce both a rich and a conceptually deep image of how constitutionalism, regionalism and conflict intersect around the world.’
– Ron Levy, Australian National University, Australia

‘In this well-informed scholarly work on regional constitutional crises, Vito Breda, one of the experts on legal comparison, synthesizes its dialectical aspect. Inspired by the real impacts of space and time positioning, Breda brilliantly highlights the tensions created by the obvious sacrifice of local identities on the altar of global beliefs, whatever they might be, for even the mirage of constitutional stability. Not only do we have here a clear description of the tragic truth of the manipulation of (legal) meanings by the so-called elites but also of the quasi permanent abuse of the dominant position of central states on their peripheries. This work illustrates the Althusserian findings on ideology, which masks reality, misrepresents reality and ultimately creates a fantasy world to allow the continuation of a system including its constitutional architecture. Thanks to Vito Breda, we understand how regional entities are the victims within that mechanism.’
– David Marrani, International Centre of Law and Business, AGIR Group, Jersey

‘Vito Breda’s Constitutional Crises and Regionalism paints a powerful landscape of one of the most fundamental dynamics of contemporary constitutionalism. The book combines together methodological rigor, interdisciplinary perspectives and innovative vision. Through an inductive, comparative approach, Professor Breda moves from some concrete situations, of which he has in-depth knowledge, to obtain a convincing and original reading of regionalism as a complex constitutional phenomenon.’
– Matteo Frau, University of Brescia, Italy

‘A fascinating exploration of regional governance and constitutional engineering. Those who seek to delve into the realms of territorial identities, multinationalism, political pluralism, and constitutional organization would greatly benefit from reading Breda’s insightful perspective.’
– Hèctor López Bofill, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Contents: Introduction to Constitutional Crises and Regionalism 1. The UK and Northern Ireland: sectarianism and Brexit 2. Spain: Spanish legitimacy after the end of political violence in the Basque Country 3. Italy and Sicily: Mafia territorial sovereignty 4. North America: Quebec and Alaska 5. China and Hong Kong: an a-constitutional crisis 6. France: the end of New Caledonia’s sui generis status 7. Australia and the Northern Territory: an unfortunate intervention 8. Papua New Guinea and Bougainville: civil war and a new sovereign state Conclusion to Constitutional Crises and Regionalism Bibliography Index
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