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Solutions and Failures in Identity-based Conflicts: the Autonomy of Trentino - South Tyrol in Comparative Perspective

Starting from the Trentino – South Tyrol case study, this project seeks to identify a theoretical framework to explain the causes of and solutions to identity-, ethnic-, linguistic- and religious-based intra-state conflicts, with particular reference to frontier regions. Accordingly, the project analyzes the case of Trentino – South Tyrol, which emerged after the Second World War as a potential low-intensity conflict, and was resolved in 1972 following a number of institutional agreements between both sides, which granted broad autonomy to the region. 

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The project compares the Trentino – South Tyrol model with other identity-based conflicts (Cyprus, Kurdistan, Egypt, Myanmar, Catalonia and Montenegro), in order to identify differences and similarities between them. The primary goal is to determine whether the tools used by the Trentini and South Tyrolese to settle their disputes could assist in resolving the conflicts experienced by separate communities living in the same territory.
April 2012 - March 2014
  • Columbia University (Massimo Morelli)
  • University of California at Irvine (Patrick Morgan)
  • Università di Bologna (Filippo Andreatta) 

A section of this project has been further developed with the University of Trento (Roberto Toniatti), the Institute for International Affairs (Gianni Bonvicini, Nona Mikhelidze), and the Center of Strategic Studies in Baku, Azerbaijan (Gulshan Pashayeva).

The Research was co-funded by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto (“Bando 2011 per progetti di ricerca nell’ambito delle scienze umanistiche, giuridiche e sociali”) and from the Foundation for World Wide Cooperation (Bologna)