Constitutional courts and transnational solidarity conflicts

The research project reconstructs conflicts over distribution and recognition within the EU, which have intensified during the Eurozone-crisis, as transnational solidarity conflicts. It analyzes particularly the role national and European constitutional courts play in these conflicts.

Conflict and conflict resolution

The Eurozone crisis is accompanied by a politicization of European governance. Transnational solidarity conflicts, which were pacified for a long time within the paradigm of a permissive consensus, have now developed a new quality. The tsc-project analyzes how these conflicts might be articulated and if constitutional courts may resolve them productively.

Research material

The research projects deals with the role of constitutional and apex courts in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain as well as on the EU-level. It analyzes more than 100 judgements with regard to their management of transnational solidarity conflicts in the context of the Eurozone crisis.

Research aims

The tsc-project pursues three research aims: (1) to describe the dynamics of transnational solidarity conflicts and the institutional possibilities of their articulation; (2) to understand the consequences of tsc in the deep structures of national constitutional law; (3) to provide a normative yardstick for the role of constitutional courts in tsc.


The research project is affiliated at the Goethe-University Frankfurt and will be conducted in an intensive collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. It was launched on the 1st of March 2017 and is scheduled for five years.
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1. The concept of transnational solidarity conflict

In this subproject we develop the fundamental conceptual frame of the research project. Transnational solidarity is defined as a relation of mutual support or recognition between partners (individuals or states), who share the same goal: to realize a common political project by any form of transnational public authority. According to this definition, transnational solidarity conflicts are conflicts about

  1. the adequate horizon of solidarity (national – European – global)
  2. the motives for acting solidarily (pre-existent community vs. political project)
  3. the content of solidarity (financial support vs. social recognition)
  4. the adequate mode of reciprocity (strict or generalized reciprocity)
  5. the appropriate conflict frame, i.e. the procedures and rules by which the above conflicts (1-4) over are resolved

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