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Institute for Research and Debate on Governance

Legitimacy and rootedness of power Program Activity

Diversity and Legitimate Democratic Governance

Here or elsewhere, from the local to global, societies are characterized by diversity. This is the inexorable observation that the daily media has led us to make and that the IRG analyzes in its program "Legitimacy and rootedness of power". However, far from being the starting point in the planning of public action, this diversity is often denied or reduced.

Basic premise for the IRG’ analyses, diversity is understood as the plurality of regulation systems and of worldviews that coexist within a given society and that is the basis for power legitimization. This diversity must be taken into account in the definition of the "will to live together", the society’s social contract; and thus be an important tool to help deal with the complexity that stems from the collective management of the common good. Without integrating diversity into the design of their rules and institutions, States are unable to produce a shared and inclusive social regulation. This failure is at the heart of legitimate democratic governance deficit that States are facing, where peoples’ level of recognition in the rules and institutions that govern them is decreasing. To meet their material and symbolic needs, people then resort to other types of regulations that in the best-case scenario develop in parallel with the state, but most often in competition with it.

This divorce between State and society is the cornerstone of the IRG’s analysis in its Diversity and Legitimate Democratic Governance activity whose main products are presented on this page. Enriched by elements of the International Meeting for Debate and Proposals on Governance, which allowed the elaboration of both the diagnostic and the analysis of this diversity, the IRG’s reflection has notably led to the opening of a more specific project on "Constitutions and Human Rights". The aim of this new project is to develop proposals and a new approach in the management of the diversity of regulations for a legitimate democratic governance: the plural approach (see below the section on the International Network for Reflection and Proposals on a Plural Approach to Constitutions – INC).

This activity is supported by the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Meeting Process is coordinated by the IRG and benefits from the support of local partners.

International Network for Reflection and Proposals on a Plural Approach to Constitutions - INC

Here or elsewhere, never before has the object Constitution been such a central issue in the social and political crises that are symptomatic of the widening gap between societies and their institutions.
The challenge of Constitutions rests in their capability to give life to a social contract; to durably embody a dynamic political, social, and normative process of elaboration, definition and action that integrates the diversity of power conceptions.
The constitutional innovations, put into place urgently due to the current international context, more then ever justify a pooling an crossing of concrete experiences and analyses the world over.
Capitalizing on the state of affairs, analyses and proposals raised during the stages of the International Meeting Process for Debate and Proposals on Governance, the GIC is integrating this innovative proposals process and is strategically positioning its expertise.

The State and Indigenous Legal Cultures: the Law in search of Legitimacy

The State and Indigenous Legal Cultures : the Law in search of Legitimacy, or, simply put, the Legitimus Project, is conducted in collaboration by universities, students and indigenous actors of Canada, Africa and Oceania, in partnership with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (CRSH).

It is an international partnership of comparative research which aims to better understand the conditions for the development, in Canada and in other regions, of legal systems that manage on a more equal basis the collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal legal cultures to contribute to a more efficient governance.

As part of its work on the legitimacy of the State and the management of diversity, the IRG participates in the Legitimus project alongside universities, students and indigenous actors from Canada, Africa and Oceania.

The IRG brings its expertise and methodological support to the project and the teams, provides training in the context of the project and prepares analyses.

Séverine Bellina is part of the Integration Group and associated researcher with Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) under this project.

Visit the project’s website : http://www.legitimus.ca

To find out more : display all resources

essay Chapters
  • 26-02-2013
  • Operationalization of the plural approach on constitutions Meeting of the International Network for Reflection and Proposals on a Plural Approach to Constitutions (INC)> 3 Partners    
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