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This chapter surveys constitutional design for territorially divided societies, with special application to the Middle East. Federalism, which is a standard part of the toolkit in other parts of the world, has rarely been attempted or sustained in the region. Decentralization holds more promise, and although many of the attempts so far have been ineffective, it would help a good deal. Special autonomy, in which one or more regions of a country enjoy authority over certain subjects, could work for certain areas as well. Another set of tools, categorized as rights, redistribution, and representation, operates at the level of the central government. Whatever arrangements are chosen, there is a need for institutional guarantors of the constitutional bargain over territory: courts and international actors can play this role. The chapter concludes that mechanisms providing voice are superior to those facilitating exit, and that a combination of representation and decentralization may be sufficient in many cases.
How does a democracy that has survived a close brush with authoritarianism start to recreate conditions of meaningful democratic political competition? What steps are to be taken, and in what order? Certain lessons can be gleaned from comparative experience with the challenges of “front-sliding”—that is, the process of rebuilding the necessary political, legal, epistemic, and sociological components of democracy. This essay maps out those challenges, examines the distinctive and difficult question of punishing individuals who have been drivers of democratic backsliding, and reflects on how to sequence different elements of front-sliding.
Buddhism and Comparative Constitutional Law offers the first comprehensive account of the entanglements of Buddhism and constitutional law in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tibet, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team of experts, the volume offers a complex portrait of “the Buddhist-constitutional complex,” demonstrating the intricate and powerful ways in which Buddhist and constitutional ideas merged, interacted and co-evolved. The authors also highlight the important ways in which Buddhist actors have (re)conceived Western liberal ideals such as constitutionalism, rule of law, and secularism. Available Open Access on Cambridge Core, this trans-disciplinary volume is written to be accessible to a non-specialist audience.
Constitution-making has changed dramatically in recent decades. Compared with constitutional processes in earlier eras, we observe the increasing role of the international community in constitution making, often as part of a broader intervention into a conflict, and increasing penetration of international norms into national contexts. There has also been a trend toward public participation in the process of constitution-making. In addition, constitution making is now iterated over time, with multiple rounds of decision making and bargaining. This chapter draws on the framework of Jon Elster to frame the seven case studies in the volume, drawing toegether themes and trends.
Constitution-making is a major event in the life of a country, with constitutions often acting as a catalyst for social and political transformation. But what determines the visions, aspirations and compromises that go into a written constitution? In this unique volume, constitution makers from countries around the world come together to offer their insights. Using a collection of case studies from countries with recently written constitutions, Constitution Makers on Constitution Making provides a common framework to explain how constitutions are created. Scholars and practitioners very close to the process illuminate critical insights into how participants see constitutional options, how deadlocks are broken, and how changes are achieved. This vital volume also draws lessons concerning the role of courts in policing the process, on international involvement, and on public participation.