Call for Papers: International Workshop on the Law of Diversity



International Workshop

The Law of Diversity: New Theoretical and Practical Perspectives on Diversity Accommodation for Minority Groups


30 September-1 October 2024 | European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Flensburg, Germany

Convenors: Kyriaki Topidi (ECMI) & Nicolò Paolo Alessi (University of Bern)

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The accommodation of diversity in the contemporary world

The accommodation of diversity is a multifaceted social, political and legal phenomenon: it has been highly affected by the Global North’s practical approaches and theoretical categories, relying on the dichotomy between non-discrimination and minority and autochthonous peoples’ rights. The current evolution of this field of law from a global perspective unveils that such fixed theoretical perspectives may end up being a limiting standpoint, thus in need of updating.

Under pressure from the challenges of migration and globalization, Global North legal systems are evolving in their responses offering solutions designed to manage complex and fluid societies. Along with non-discrimination and minority and indigenous peoples’ rights, innovative international law frameworks and their implementations, as well as “less orthodox” forms of accommodation have emerged. Non-territorial autonomy (especially in its functional dimension), legal pluralism and participatory democracy have been considered the main emergent categories of models in the Global North. At the same time, following a decolonial comparative law approach, several valuable insights in the area of diversity accommodation can be gained from other frequently overlooked areas of the world.

The new theoretical framework based on the concept 'Law of Diversity'

To grasp the ongoing evolution of this area of law, recent works have put forward the need for an update of the conceptual (and practical) categories for political and legal theory to retain their explanatory function in relation to minority groups.

The concept of the Law of Diversity describes the wealth of legal instruments that are sensitive to the numerous factors that differentiate human beings (also understood as models for the accommodation of diversity) originating from various constitutional traditions. It aims to show that such legal instruments are evolving and emerging approaches are complementing those that have traditionally been studied.

The Law of Diversity can be therefore imagined both as a unitary conceptual framework and a practical toolbox containing all the instruments aimed at accommodating differential human aspects, from non-discrimination to minority and indigenous peoples’ rights as well as innovative models for the accommodation of diversity. As a unitary framework, it gathers all the instruments for the accommodation of diversity from a legal perspective, makes it possible to recognize their fundamental commonalities, to foster their dialogue and relativize their normative content. Comparing applicable instruments and frames, it illustrates both the commonality of their function, and, at the same time, the contingency of the selection of their addressees, determined by historical, political and philosophical factors. As importantly, the Law of Diversity may also broaden the conceptual toolbox used in the Global North by drawing inspiration from experiences and instruments used the Global South constitutional systems.

Key topics of the workshop

The innovations stemming from this conceptual trajectory are far from being fully discovered and explored. Several questions remain unanswered:

  • Which models would fit into this wide conceptual framework that the traditional perspective on minority protection would have overlooked?
  • Which areas of diversity accommodation can be more strongly connected through this new framework?
  • Which innovations can this framework yield in research and in practice?
  • In other words, how big and how useful is the Law of Diversity?

This non-exhaustive list of questions will be addressed at this workshop with a view to unleashing the theoretical and practical potential of the renewed conceptual framework based on the Law of Diversity.

Submission of abstracts and full papers

Authors should submit a 200-250‐word abstract, including a title of the proposed paper, and a short biographical note (including name, email, academic affiliation).

Abstracts are to be submitted by 15 June 2024 by email to or Notification of acceptance will be communicated by 1 August 2024.

Following peer review, selected papers will be published within an edited book collecting the contribution of the International Workshop. Finalized papers (preferably between 7,000-8,000 words, inclusive of footnotes) are to be submitted by 15 December 2024.

Registration and fees

Attendance is free. Guidelines for attendance and further information will be sent via email. Travel costs and accommodation will be fully covered by the ECMI.


Please direct queries about the conference to the convenors at or

ECMI Founders