Embedding the Constitution in Society (Challenges from Below)


  • Catharine MacKinnon, University of Michigan / Harvard, USA
  • Tariq Modood, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Etienne Le Roy, Universit√© de Paris I (Sorbonne), France
  • Daniel Weinstock, McGill University, Canada

From a formal standpoint, constitutions tend to resemble one another, but their actual operation, scope and legitimacy depend on the prevailing culture of the polity in which they are instituted. Consistent with this, multiculturalism, whether autochthonous or promoted through migration, poses a series of conflicts and quandaries.

This plenary will address the challenges confronting those who strive to combine constitutional unity and cultural, ethnic, and ideological diversity. Among the subjects to be addressed is the contrast between homogeneous and heterogeneous polities, and conflicts and tensions between majority and minority cultures as well as other major bases for contestation. Emphasis will be placed on gender and sexual orientation issues, as well as on ethnic, linguistic and ideological differences.

Published Mar. 21, 2013 10:12 AM - Last modified June 4, 2014 9:45 PM