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Professor of Constitutional Theory, The University of Edinburgh

Stephen Tierney is Professor of Constitutional Theory and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He has held visiting professorships in International Law at Seton Hall Law School, New Jersey (2010 and 2011) and in Political Theory at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona (2010).

Professor Tierney was a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow 2008-2009. This provided a year's research leave to pursue the project: "Let the People Decide: Referendums in a Post-Sovereign Age".This ongoing project focuses upon referendums as a case study in the relationship between democracy and constitutionalism. As part of this research he also initiated a project on Referendums and Deliberative Democracy. Details are available on

A monograph 'Constitutional Referendums: The Theory and Practice of Republican Deliberation' was published by Oxford University Press in 2012.
Current Research Interests

Professor Tierney teaches and researches at the interfaces between public law, international law and constitutional theory. Current research interests include: 1. The legal accommodation of national identity. 2. Comparative constitutional law and theory. 3. The use of referendums in the settlement of constitutional questions. He would welcome engagement with other scholars interested in these areas and enquiries from research students keen to pursue work in any of these fields.


  • –present
    Professor of Constitutional Theory, University of Edinburgh