2. Institutions

Powers, constraints, and transformations 

This stream studies how institutional arrangements are affected by interactions and harmonisation between local, national, European, and international legal orders. It is concerned with matters of international peace and security, issues of accountability and legitimacy deficit, new modes of governance, the emergence and resolution of economic, political, and financial crises, and with safeguarding the rule of law, sovereignty and the autonomy of States. Special attention is given to the balance of powers between national parliaments, courts, governments, and their EU counterparts.

Research in this stream is geared towards mapping changes and new developments within various legal orders and identifying how this affects existing institutional structures and arrangements. It also examines how crises challenge the competences of different institutions to protect matters of national, regional, and international concern.

Some important questions include whether traditional ideas such as legitimacy, accountability, and the separation of powers are still appropriate to today’s context, and how institutions within the various legal orders can foster the rule of law, protect rights and values, or shape future integration. Also relevant is how institutions and legal instruments shape integration processes, how they can protect fundamental rights and non-economic values, and how they do, can, and should respond to developments such as the dissatisfaction of EU citizens and the rise of new technologies.