The research programme of the Government and Law research group is centred on legitimate governance in a diverse, complex, and globalised environment.

Central research questions concern the impact of legal, political, and social developments on:

  • The legal concept of government,
  • The operation of and relations between state and non-state actors in governance,
  • Fundamental principles such as democracy, rule of law, federalism, solidarity, and multilevel governance,
  • The protection of persons against arbitrary government action, and
  • The government's responsibility to respond effectively to urgent societal challenges, including the interests of future generations in its policies.

Our core question is: How can societies, faced with major challenges in complex societies, confronted with upsurges of illiberalism and populism, and given the diffuse sources of (government) power and the wide diversity of governance actors, safeguard constitutional values to protect individuals, vulnerable groups, minorities, and future generations?

The group combines legal-doctrinal analysis with a broad variety of methods from and collaboration with other disciplines. In particular, the group is embedded in interdisciplinary research centres such as the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies (CeMIS)Antwerp Tax Academy, and Metropolitan Legal Lab.

We have five research lines that contribute to our overall aims (Please see 'Research Themes').