How have peripheries in liberal democratic states become hotbeds for constitutional rights-contestation?
Modern states – including wealthy liberal democracies – were constituted through “standardization,” whereby power-centers projected control outward, progressively absorbing culturally and politically heterogenous regions into the uniform state. This process was often illiberal and undemocratic. It is also incomplete, having arrived only recently on certain remote peripheries.
With the advent of the rights revolution, these peripheries have a new means to resist standardization: the articulation, and deployment, of collective-rights claims. Aaron Spitzer finds that as a result, peripheries in liberal democratic states – ranging from Norway’s Finnmark region, to Canada’s Arctic, to Australia’s tropical Outback – have become hotbeds of constitutional rights-contestation. He suggests that how these contests are understood and resolved will shape the future of these peripheries, and may moreover reverberate back towards power centers, “destandardizing” states more broadly.
The seminar is part of the RDV-webinar series, a collaboration between the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism and the Centre on Law and Social Transformation at the University of Bergen. The RDV-webinar series is an interdisciplinary webinar where we invite national and international researchers to talk about their pioneering research on topics regarding law, democracy, and welfare.Facebook event
Aaron Spitzer is associate professor at the Department of Comparative Politics at UiB