June 27, 2024

Russian Constitution in the Global Context

IGRec workshop will discuss the prospective Russian constitutional order within the broader debate about the future of constitutionalism around the world.


about the event

UPD: Registration is closed due to a limited capacity

Over the past decade, there have been a number of impactful constitutional experiments around the world, such as in Chile or Iceland, both in terms of innovative constitutional proposals and in terms of formats of constitution-making. Such experiments are intended to find answers to a number of challenges in constitutional thought. Contemporary constitutional orders are living through difficult times. Oftentimes, they are identified as the reasons for democratic deficit or obstacles to popular sovereignty. Similar concerns arise in the context of supranational constitutional developments, as well as national politics, when existing arrangements are under strain due to democratic backsliding or, conversely, due to demands for greater democratization.

This workshop will address these general issues by discussing the case of Russia. Its Constitution, adopted in the days of a powerful wave of democratization, raised hopes that it would help build a predictable democratic order. The origins of the Constitution in the major political crisis in 1993 have been the subject of much debate. Distorted by the 2020 amendments, it now serves as the legal framework for military aggression and domestic repression. Anticipating political changes in Russia, activists and experts are seeking to formulate alternative visions for a new constitution. However, it is crucial to situate the discussion of the prospective Russian constitutional order within the broader debate about the future of constitutionalism around the world.

The workshop will contribute to a conversation about these fundamental challenges and link them to specific historical developments in Russian constitutionalism, bringing together some of the leading theorists of constitutional and comparative law. Participants will examine alternative constitutional designs and evaluate how they seek to address some of the pressing political concerns. An experimental constitutional draft developed by the Institute for Global Reconstitution will be made available for discussion.


9.00 Welcome remarks by Artemy Magun 


9.30–11.30 Panel I. New Developments in Constitution-Making

What are the most important trends and challenges for constitution-making in the 21st century that should be considered when drawing up a new constitution? What lessons can we learn from recent constitutional projects and attempts to tailor basic political arrangements to contingent political needs?

Chair: Artemy Magun (IGRec)


Camila Vergara, University of Essex 

The Process is the Product: Lessons from the Constitution-Making Process in Chile


Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University

The Russian Constitution in Opposition


Angelika Nußberger, University of Cologne (online)

Constitutional Engineering – New Ideas and Skepticism


11.30–12.00 Coffee Break 


12.00–14.00 Panel II. Key Challenges for a New Constitution for Russia

What political and juridical considerations should be taken into account when preparing a new Russian constitution? What political demands should the new constitutional project answer? What are the most important drawbacks of the 1993 Constitution and its 2020 upgrade? Should anything be preserved from those texts?


Chair: Artemy Magun (IGRec)



Tobias Rupprecht, Freie Universität Berlin 

The Tomb of the Soviet Union, or the Womb of Putinism? Narratives about the 1993 Russian Constitutional Crisis


Ekaterina Mishina, Brīvā Universitāte (online)

“Birth Defects” of the Russian Constitution, Constitutional Amendments, and the 2020 Constitutional Counter-Reform


Caroline von Gall, Goethe University Frankfurt

30 Years of Post-Soviet Russian Authoritarian Constitutionalism - Lessons Learnt


Greg Yudin, Princeton University/IGRec (online)

Away from Bonapartism: Reinvigorating Substantive Democracy in Russia


14.00–15.00 Lunch 


15.15–17.15 Panel III. Comparing the Projects

There are already two drafts of a new constitution prepared by different teams and available in advance to the participants of the workshop. This panel will feature short conceptual presentations by the authors and comments from readers.

Chair: Silvia von Steinsdorff, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin



Project 1: Artemy Magun, IGRec; Evgeny Roshchin, Princeton University/IGRec (online)


Project 2 (see attachment): Petr Safronov, University of Amsterdam


Comments on the projects


Date: 27 June 2024

Time: 9:30 CET

Language: English

Venue: Humboldt University, Campus Nord

Please note that the workshop is an offline event. You will not receive a confirmation letter after your registration and will automatically be added to our list.  

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