The CIHG: A Heterotopia of Constitutional Innovation

Nikolaus Poechhacker, Head of Critical Legal Tech, and Professor Iris Eisenberger, Director of the CIHG and head of Innovative Constitutionalism, are explaining the CIHG as a heterotopia of constitutional innovation in their newest paper, published in EASST Review: Volume 40(2) July 2021.

Communicating the idea of a place like the CIHG is no easy task. Nikolaus Poechhacker and Iris Eisenberger therefore refer to the concept of Michel Foucault’s heterotopia.


“Foucalt described heterotopias as places in a society that are different, that are ‘quite other sites’, unbound from the rules of normalized space. In these spaces all other places are represented, contested, and inverted. They are very abstract and very real at the same time – and they are defined by their relations with the normality from which they deviate. One could say that heterotopias are places to be differently, to act differently, and to think differently. During 2020, where the whole world felt like a heterotopia, we aimed to build a special and deliberate one. A place for thinking about the manifold relations and entanglements of law, technology, and society.

They come to the conclusion, that “The CIHG is an illusion and a manifest space at the same time. Accommodating very different practices and perspectives leaves space for parallel enactments of the CIHG.

The hub does not exist as one entity, as one heterotopia, but as multiple instances of a different place.

And such a place can accommodate rather different illusions that are also very real – if we realize them.”


Read the whole article here: A heterotopia of constitutional innovation