Academic Resources (3 Matches)
Source: Jennifer Widner, William and Mary Law Review 49, no. 4 This paper offers an overview on various procedures and results of constitution building and some fundamental definitions, constructions, and modalities for designing a constitution. The primary topics include: expectations of such processes and how those expectations influence the procedures themselves; models; some ideas on what the current data has demonstrated; and an agenda for research and discussion of constitution writing and conflict resolution. The author argues that deciphering “best practices” on these themes is difficult and ambiguous, and that social scientists are rather better at providing inferences into the trade-offs for taking on certain actions. Therefore, she concludes that such scholars can provide useful suggestions by pointing to procedural devices for minimizing the bad consequences of specific choices.
Source: Jamal Benomar, Journal of Democracy 15, no. 2This essay discusses constitution-making processes, applying lessons learned from 19 transitional country constitutions to the Iraq constitution-making context. The author’s recommendations for the Iraqi constitution-making process include: separating the peace talks and constitutional deliberations; addressing security issues hampering debate; encouraging the participation of all key stakeholders; supporting popular participation; and seeking support from international experts. The author concludes that achieving both a national consensus for an Iraqi constitution and a framework for participatory governance is essential to Iraq’s long-term stability and peaceful development.
Source: Arend Lijphart, Journal of Democracy 15, no. 2 This essay contends that power-sharing arrangements are the best form of constitutional design for deeply divided societies. After addressing the relative strengths and weaknesses of power-sharing agreements, the author provides recommendations and guidelines on the following issues: the legislative electoral system; proportional representation; parliamentary versus presidential systems; power sharing in the executive; cabinet stability; selecting the head of state; federalism and decentralization; corporate autonomy; and extended power-sharing mechanisms. The author argues that power sharing is the only solution for peace in deeply divided societies.
News and Reports (1 Matches)
Source: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)This issue contains a number of articles highlighting issues of constitutionalism in Africa, including “The Call for the Establishment of a Global Framework for Cooperation”; “Trends in Constitutional and Political Developments”; “Trends in Peacekeeping”; “Trends in Preventive Action”; “Constitutional and Political Reforms in Lesotho”; “State Sovereignty and Intervention in Africa”; ‘Dynamics of War and Peace in Sudan”; “The Case of International Intervention and Private Security”; “Challenges for Burundi’s Transitional Government”; “The Deployment of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) to Burundi”; and “The Gacaca System in Rwanda.”
Source: University of RichmondThis database offers access to constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents for countries throughout the world.
Source: Interpeace and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)Currently in development, this website, sponsored by Interpeace and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, is meant to be a resource center for actors engaging in constitution-building processes. The site will be made available in a number of languages, including, at present, Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.
Source: Forum of FederationsThis Canadian non-governmental organization works on programs of mutual cooperation to enhance best practice in federal systems of government around the world. The website provides access to documentation surrounding issues on federalism, offering access to multimedia, publications such as Federations Magazine and newsletters, educational tools, and country studies.
Policy Analysis and Practitioner Documents (View All 6 Matches)
Source: Louise Olivier, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)This study examines the role of constitutional review and reform in political development in Southern Africa. The primary themes covered include: traditional judicial/constitutional review; contemporary constitutional review, such as constitution making and constitutionalism; democratic principles in a constitution; country reviews; and comparison of democratic principles contained in the countries’ constitutions. The author notes that the process of constitutional review or reform generally results in constitutions that embody democratic principles. Yet, the author states that despite constitutional progression, these societies still have elite political concentration, corruption, and human rights abuses.
Source: Ghai, Yash, and Guido Galli, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)This document examines the connection between constitutions and democratization. Primary issues include: constitution building as a process; electoral and constitutional timing; foreign involvement and local ownership; the post-enactment stage; and the benefits and risks of participation. The authors note that constitution building is a component of the larger peacebuilding process, and that its applicability and success are partly dependent on countrywide stability. The paper concludes that exploring issues both on constitution building and on surrounding concerns is essential for understanding constitution building and harnessing its power to build democracies and promote social justice.
Source: Kirsti Samuels and Vanessa Hawkins Wyeth, International Peace Academy (IPA)This paper examines post-conflict constitutional processes by conducting comparative studies of six constitutions and peace agreements from the following countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fiji, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Uganda. The primary issues discussed include: the constitution-making process, including public participation, local ownership, speed of change, and costs and resources; power sharing, both in the executive and geographically through federalism; checks and balances through executive and legislative balance of power and the judiciary; electoral models, including majoritarian, preferential, and list proportional representation; political parties; and implementation and enforcement. The authors conclude that in most of the countries, the constitution-making process resulted in unexpected and even negative consequences that highlight both the difficulty in trying to achieve specific results through constitution making and the dominating influence of politics.