In order to apply for the Winter School 2024, candidates have to submit a completed application form (online form, link available below).


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. 1500 characters incl. spaces)
  • a short academic essay (max. 3500 characters incl. spaces) on one of the eight questions related to the workshop topics.

Please give a look at the preview of the application form’s questions (click here), prepare the essay in advance and then fill the application form all at once.

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

In case of questions regarding the application form and procedure, please contact

Please apply by using this link application form

Deadline for applications: SUNDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2023, 23:59 CEST

Only complete application forms (including all required personal data, statement of motivation and essay) will be taken into consideration. No additional documents are required.

The Winter School on Federalism and Governance 2024 will be held in person. There is no possibility to attend the course from remote.


Detailed information regarding the academic essay for the application

For half a day, workshops will focus on four topics selected by the Winter School’s scientific committee. The workshop topics of the 2024 edition are: Federalism, Sustainability and…

A) Financial Relations
B) Democratic Participations
C) Environment
D) Democratic Institutions

As part of the application, we ask you to select one of the workshops and to write a short essay of max. 500 words (3500 characters) answering ONE of the two questions linked to the workshop you have chosen:

Workshop A – Financial Relations

  1. To what extent does the allocation of fiscal resources in a federal/multilevel system impact the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (with respect to issues such as gender equality, no poverty or reduction of inequalities)? Examples from a case study you are familiar with are welcome.
  2. Funding arrangements are a vital component of any system of shared government. How can financial relations contribute to managing diversity and reducing secessionist tensions? Please focus on a case study with which you are familiar and provide examples discussing the potential integrative or disintegrative impacts of fiscal federalism.

Workshop B – Democratic Participations

  1. What is the interplay between federalism and participatory democracy? Reflect on democratic participation at different levels of government.
  2. To what extent do democratic innovations in your country/field of expertise contribute to sustainable governance? Put differently, reflect on (possible) practices and methods of citizens’ participation in traditional decision-making processes regarding the concept of sustainability.

 Workshop C – Environment

  1. Please do describe challenges, opportunities and emerging mechanisms for multilevel governance of the Environmental Sustainable Development Goals (with reference to SDGs no. 13, 14, 15).
  2. How are local and regional governments in your country experimenting with new governance models to embrace environmental sustainability?

Workshop D – Democratic Institutions

Sustainability has not only an ecological and economic dimension but also a socio-political one. This workshop focuses on the latter dimension, more precisely on what institutions makes democracy sustainable at the subnational level (regions, provinces, cantons, etc.) and the local level. Please respond to one of the following questions:

  1. Looking at your home country or another country of your choice, what are the main institutions, both formal and informal ones, that ensure the sustainability of democracy (representative, direct and participatory democracy) at subnational level in regions, provinces, states etc.?
  2. Looking at your home country or another country of your choice, what are the main institutions, both formal and informal ones, that ensure the sustainability of democracy (representative, direct and participatory democracy) in municipalities?

Applications which are successfully submitted and complete will receive a confirmation via e-mail within 5 working days after submission.

Applicants will be notified in early December 2023. The enrollment procedure (including payment of the tuition fee) has to be completed within 7 working days after notification of the invitation to participate.

Any further questions may be directed to the organizers at or +39-0471-055137.