Opendata, web and dolomites


The Foundations of Institutional AuThority: a multi-dimensional model of the separation of powers

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 FIAT project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the FIAT project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "FIAT" about.

difficulties    culture    re    dimensional    diverse    theory    legitimisation    statement    mission    almost    norms    outputs    authoritarian    constitutional    institutional    hungary    centuries    holy    shape    exists    evidential    acquired    questions    potentially    place    king    bridge    rooted    six    posed    separation    argues    law    power    deeper    scheppele    accounts    takes    exercise    final    powers    resonant    foundations    gap    vulnerable    urgency    turkey    practical    strain    ackerman    influence    shaped    uk    left    socially    time    2010    social    rival    established    seriously    evaluative    2017    plebiscites    de    model    fresh    rule    claims    conflicting    cotterrell    representation    poland    processes    thinking    capture    russia    leaders    ultimately    political    conferral    montesquieu    later    maintained    emergence    trinity    fail    personalisation    foundation    emerge    sociological    equates    rethink    bodies    constitution    saward    facts    recourse    bolivia   

Project "FIAT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: BELFIELD
city: DUBLIN
postcode: 4

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Ireland [IE]
 Total cost 1˙997˙627 €
 EC max contribution 1˙997˙627 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-01-01   to  2024-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

‘Almost three centuries later, it is past time to rethink Montesquieu’s holy trinity’ (Ackerman, 2010).

As Ackerman (and many others) have observed, political reality has long left the traditional model of the separation of powers behind. The problems posed by this gap between constitutional theory and political practice have recently acquired fresh urgency as developments in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Russia, the UK, US, Bolivia and elsewhere place the separation of powers under strain. These include the emergence of authoritarian leaders; personalisation of political authority; recourse to non-legal plebiscites; and the capture or de-legitimisation of other constitutional bodies.

This project argues that these difficulties are rooted in a deeper problem with constitutional thinking about institutional power: a constitution-as-law approach that equates the conferral of legal power with the authority to exercise it. This makes it possible for a gap to emerge between legal accounts of authority and its diverse –and potentially conflicting (Cotterrell)– sociological foundations. Where that gap exists, the practical authority of an institution (or constitution) may be vulnerable to challenge from rival and more socially-resonant claims (Scheppele (2017)).

It is this gap between legal norms and social facts that the project aims to investigate – and ultimately bridge.

How is authority established? How is it maintained? How might it fail? And how does the constitution (as rule? representation (Saward)? mission statement (King)?) shape, re-shape and come to be shaped by those processes? By investigating these questions across six case studies, the project will produce a multi-dimensional account of institutional authority that takes seriously the sociological influence of both law and culture.

The results from these cases provide the evidential foundation for the project’s final outputs: a new model and new evaluative measures of the separation of powers.

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The information about "FIAT" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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lastchecktime (2022-08-12 15:23:05) correctly updated