UCL Faculty of Laws


Hybrid | Dynamic Federalism: A New Theory for Cohesion and Regional Autonomy

06 March 2024, 2:00 pm–3:30 pm

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This event is organised by the UCL Public Law Group

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens


This seminar will focus on Prof Popelier’s groundbreaking book, Dynamic Federalism: A New Theory for Cohesion and Regional Autonomy, which offers a new theory of federalism.
Her work critically discusses traditional federal theories and builds on theories that focus on the dynamics of federalism. The book offers a definition of federalism and federal organizations that encompasses both new and old types of multi-tiered system. Unlike traditional federal theory, it is well-suited to research both multinational and mononational systems. The book also takes into account the complexity of these systems, with bodies of governance at the local, regional, national, and supranational level. The book is divided into three parts: the first part outlines the contours of dynamic federalism, based on a critical overview of traditional federal theory; the second part develops comprehensive indexes to measure autonomy and cohesion of multi-tiered systems; and the third part focuses on the dynamics of federal organizations, with a special focus on institutional hubs for change.

During her talk, Prof Popelier will introduce the key arguments of the book and reflect on how they fit – or don’t – in a UK setting.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

About the Speaker

Photo of Professor Patricia Popelier
Patricia Popelier is full professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Antwerp and director of the research group of Government and Law. She is also senior research fellow at the University of Kent, Centre for Federal Studies. Her main research topics are federalism and multilevel governance, constitutional review, legislative studies, and issues of legitimacy and legal certainty. She is the author of more than 300 publications in the field of public law, including the monograph 'Dynamic Federalism. A New Theory for Cohesion and Regional Autonomy'. She has interest and experience in applying different qualitative and quantitative methods. A full list of her publications can be found here.
About the Commentators

Commentators for this Symposium include:


Image of Silvia Suteu
Dr Silvia Suteu (chair) is Associate Professor at UCL Laws, having joined the Faculty in September 2016. She teaches and researches in the areas of comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory, gender and law, and UK public law. She is a recognised expert on the theory and practice of constitutional change, gender-sensitive constitution-making, and participatory and deliberative constitutionalism. (Chair for this event)



Photo of Dr Berihun Gebeye
Dr Berihun Gebeye is a Lecturer in Law at the UCL Faculty of Laws. Prior to joining UCL Laws, he was a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Comparative Constitutionalism held by Prof. Dr. Ran Hirschl at the University of Göttingen. He held visiting positions at the Columbia Law School, the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. He is a Visiting Professor at the Central European University Department of Legal Studies from which he earned an S.J.D./Ph.D. in Comparative Constitutional Law (summa cum laude). He is the author of “A Theory of African Constitutionalism” (OUP 2021).


Photo of Professor Rick Rawlings
Professor Richard (Rick) Rawlings is the Professor of Public Law at UCL. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW), and Honorary Bencher at Middle Temple. He is a former Leverhulme Major Research Fellow. Rick has also been appointed Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cardiff University.

Rick's many works include leading monographs and edited collections such as Law and Administration (4th edn 2021) (with Carol Harlow); Delineating Wales: Constitutional, Legal anbd Aministrative Aspects of National Devolution (2005); The Regulatory State: Constitutional Implications (2010); Sovereignty and the Law (2013); Process and Procedure in EU Administration (2014) (with Carol Harlow). Reports include Challenge and Opportunity: The Draft Wales Bill (2016) and Brexit and the Territorial Constitution (2017). Rick has held visiting posts at leading universities in the common law world such as University of California, Berkeley; National University of Singapore; and University of Auckland. He was recently Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Professor at Melbourne University. Rick has served as Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee and on the (Thomas) Commission on Justice in Wales. He currently serves on the Welsh Advisory Committee of the Law Commission.

About the Group

The UCL Public Law Group is a community of scholars working in the field of public law, broadly understood. Our aim is to provide a supportive forum for the discussion and development of theoretical and doctrinal questions in constitutional theory, comparative constitutional law, human rights, judicial review, legal and political theory, and more. 

Read more about the group and its work.

Book your place

You can attend this event in-person at UCL Faculty of Laws (Bentham House, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG) or alternatively you can join via a live stream.

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