Indiana University Bloomington
Difference and Constitutionalism in Asia

With generous support from the IU Institute for Advanced Study and partnering with the IU Maurer School of Law’s Center for Constitutional Democracy, the Pan Asia Institute will host a symposium on Difference and Constitutionalism in Asia to be held in March 2011 on the IU campus (dates to be confirmed).

Date: Friday, March 4 through Saturday, March 5, 2011 | Dates are tentative

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, IN

Constitutionalism is sweeping the world. In the past 20 years, at least a dozen countries in the pan-Asian region have proposed or adopted new or made important changes in existing constitutions. Much of the impetus for this focus on constitutions comes from the political and social pressures generated by lines of division and difference within societies: lines including religion, race and ethnicity, gender, language, and the rural/urban divide. People in many countries look to their constitutions as mechanisms for taming the disruption that sometimes accompanies difference and for establishing just and stable polities that can encompass such differences.

The pan-Asia region provides a particularly good context for the comparative analysis of constitutionalism and difference. Stretching from the Middle East through Central Asia, and South Asia to Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific, this region covers a hugely diverse collection of countries. Most of the possible variations of history, culture, politics, and law that might affect the role of constitutionalism can be found within the region.

The symposium will bring together ANU and IU faculty as well as scholars from the U.S. and abroad. A one day post-symposium workshop will follow and will allow for the discussion of research directions, future meetings, and possibilities for publication.