The 2017 Annual Conference of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies (IACFS) will deal with the challenge of guaranteeing the principle of equality in diverse states (societies), especially in countries which have adopted federal or decentralised systems or any other arrangement allowing for the accommodation of groups or territories with distinct identity.

The main objective of the conference is to explore the different ways which states characterised by diversity use to reconcile autonomy with the principle of equality and constitutional guarantees of equal rights and opportunities of their citizens. While uniform states/homogenous societies states find it easy (at least in theory) to guarantee equal rights to all the geographic entities and all citizens of the country, the principle of equality raises several complex issues in states which guarantee autonomy rights to one, several or all (constituent) entities or with foresee specific regimes for distinct groups (e.g. national minorities).