Winter School on Federalism and Governance Winter School is a two-week international postgraduate programme on federalism, regionalism and multilevel governance.

A wide range of lectures provides the opportunity for participants to broaden their knowledge of multilevel governance, especially from the perspectives of legal and political sciences. Renowned experts in the field lead courses and workshops on federalism and its challenges in the Winter School’s international learning environment that features top-notch scholars coming from different backgrounds and from around the globe. The Winter School explores, from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, how federalism can contribute to multilevel, integrated and pluralistic decision-making. The 2016 edition will cover conflict and cooperation in federal systems. For one week at the University of Innsbruck and one week at the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC), participants will analyze both the effectiveness of federalism as a tool to solve intergovernmental conflicts and discuss the relevant constitutional instruments and institutions in multilevel systems, such as second chambers or constitutional courts. Furthermore, hot topics such as fiscal federalism and the role of political parties in promoting conflict or cooperation will be discussed. Among the practical case studies from different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe), attention will be paid to recent secessionist movements in Europe and possibilities for their solution. Beside numerous opportunities for discussion with renowned experts on multilevel governance throughout the lectures, interactive sessions will also offer participants the chance to share knowledge among themselves. Interactive workshops will address asymmetries in multilevel systems, financial relations, political parties, as well as the policy field of environmental protection.

The Winter School will examine a series of issues:

  • How can federalism be used to mediate conflicts between territories?
  • What are the characteristics of successful models of co-operative federalism?
  • To what extent are second chambers a tool to integrate subnational entities?
  • How can intergovernmental bodies be used to prevent conflicts?
  • What can constitutions offer vis-à-vis secessionist movements?
  • Is territorial autonomy in divided societies a tool for conflict or cooperation?
  • What is the role of political parties in intergovernmental relations?

The Winter School 2016 examines these and other questions by combining theoretical expertise and relevant case studies. As such, the programme is a unique opportunity to receive enhanced training on the theoretical and practical aspects of federalism and multilevel governance.


The Winter School is designed for those who wish to upgrade their knowledge of federalism through an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, including:

  • post-docs, postgraduate students and young researchers
  • civil servants from a local, regional or national government
  • employees of international organisations or NGOs

Please note that the programme builds on assumed prior knowledge of federalism.


The participation fee for the Winter School on Federalism and Governance 2016 is € 250,00 (= two weeks Winter School excluding accommodation).

  • This participation fee covers: course materials, guided tours in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen, bus transfer from Innsbruck to Bolzano/Bozen at the end of week 1 (Saturday, 6th February 2016), welcome coffee and welcome lunch, welcome dinner, access to the libraries and internet access at both venue sites (i.e. at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Innsbruck and at EURAC Bolzano/Bozen).
  • The participation fee does NOT cover: Accommodation, meals, travel costs and other expenses not listed above

Participants do, however, have the possibility to book their accommodation in Innsbruck and Bolzano through the organizers.
Option 1:  € 780,00 – includes 13 nights-accommodation in a single room with breakfast (= € 1.030,00 incl.
participation fee).
Option 2:  € 580,00 – includes 13 nights-accommodation in a twin room with breakfast (= € 830,00 incl.
participation fee).

Both single and twin room accommodations are available on a first-come-first-serve basis upon enrolment. The participation fee (without and with accommodation) has to be paid upon enrolment in December 2015.
If desired, the accommodation in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen can be arranged through the Winter School organizers (see single and twin room options above). Participants will be booked in standard guesthouses and in modern student halls of residence in quietly located areas of town, both in Innsbruck and in Bolzano/Bozen. In any other case, participants will have to organize their accommodation themselves.
The organizers of the Winter School will award a limited number of scholarships. The organizers distinguish between:

  • “full scholarships” covering the accommodation costs in a 3 or 4-bed room for 13 nights plus breakfast in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen and a small contribution towards the participants’ travel expenses (refund after the Winter School). max. 3 scholarships are available.
  • “partial scholarships” covering the accommodation costs in a 3 or 4-bed room in Innsbruck and Bolzano/Bozen for 13 nights plus breakfast. max. 7 scholarships are available.

Scholarships are limited and will be awarded based on merit and need; preference will be given to students and applicants from non-European countries.

Please note that holders of these scholarships are still required to pay a participation fee of € 150,00- upon enrolment. The scholarships will be awarded after all applications have been processed by the end of November 2015.

Cancellation policy: In case of a cancellation after 6 January 2016, the organizers will refund the participation fee minus 10% and minus the incurred costs.​


In order to apply for the Winter School on Federalism and Governance 2016, candidates have to submit a completed application form (PDF or Word form, see below) via email to

In the application form you will be asked to submit:

  • personal data
  • relevant academic and professional education
  • work experience (if applicable)
  • a statement of motivation (max. 250 words)
  • and a short academic essay (max. 500 words) on one of the topics listed below.

Details regarding the essay are explained below. Please note that without the essay the application cannot be considered! 

Please apply using this application form: PDF or Word format
To support their application, candidates can submit a short letter or statement of recommendation (from their educational institution and/or workplace) along with the application form.

After completing the application form (above), please save it and email it to

Only complete application forms (including all required personal data, motivation and abstract) will be taken into consideration. Please send only the application form and – if available – a short letter or statement of recommendation. No additional documents are required.

Application deadline: Sunday, 25 October 2015, 23:59 MESZ.

If you have any questions please contact

For more information, please visit the official web-page.

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