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WP2 The creation of new institutions at multiple levels

This project examined three cases of institutional displacement in the constitutional/legal arena at the subnational, national and international levels. Two external experts were team members in this collaborative project.

The Scottish parliament, a new institution created as part of a larger process of devolution provided the subnational case (Prof Fiona Mackay, Edinburgh University). The new constitutional court in South Africa, a key part of the transition to a constitutional democracy, provided the national level institution (undertaken by Rachel Johnson); the International Criminal Court in The Hague was the new institutional form at the international level (Prof Louise Chappell, University of New South Wales).

This project examined the extent to which 'new' institutions like these are really new in terms of their rules, norms and practices, and how far they remain embedded in pre-existing institutional forms and practices ('nested newness'). It explored the proposition that new institutions offer more opportunities for the creation of more 'gender friendly' institutions if certain other conditions are fulfilled. The project looked for differences and similarities between the cases as determining the key factors.  Again the roles of key actors and their interaction with institutional structures formed an important part of the research. The data collected for this project is predominantly qualitative, using archival, documentary and interview sources for each of the research sites.

Duration: 24 months November 2012 - October 2014

Key people

  • Prof Georgine Waylen
  • Prof Louise Chappell (external team member, University of New South Wales)
  • Prof Fiona Mackay (external team member, University of Edinburgh)
  • Research associate: Dr Rachel Johnson

Key publications