Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 February 2022
This chapter begins by surveying the current literature on constitutional design constitutions for divided societies and constitutional approaches to power sharing. It pays particular attention to the view that constitutions are best understood not as contracts, but rather as coordination devices. An implication of this view for constitutional design is that, in deeply divided societies, successful coordination (and thus successful constitution-writing) may be easier to achieve if the constitution deliberately leaves certain divisive constitutional questions unresolved, with the understanding that those questions will be resolved incrementally over time. Against this theoretical background, the chapter uses the history and constitutional history of Afghanistan to illuminate the challenges of developing a constitution that can coordinate politics in a deeply divided society, and it evaluates the pros and cons of different approaches to constitutional design in such contexts.
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