Subject: Constitutions

October 2017, Volume 28, Issue 4

Strengthening Constitutionalism in Asia

Liberal democracy can never put down truly firm roots in Asia unless and until the fundamentals of democratic constitutionalism take hold. There are seven practical imperatives that friends of constitutionalism in the region must pursue.

July 2017, Volume 28, Issue 3

India’s Democracy at 70: The Disputed Role of the Courts

India’s Supreme Court has played the role of a countermajoritarian check but has also flirted with populism. This essay examines three aspects of India’s higher judiciary: the struggle between the judiciary and the other branches over “custody” of the Constitution; the question of judicial independence and who has the right to appoint judges (in India,…

January 2014, Volume 25, Issue 1

What Can Constitutions Do? The Afghan Case

January 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of Afghanistan’s constitution. In what areas has it succeeded or failed? Judging by its achievements with respect to four midrange goals, the document has a record that is decidedly mixed.

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April 2012, Volume 23, Issue 2

Tunisia’s Transition and the Twin Tolerations

Of all the “Arab Spring” countries, so far only Tunisia has managed to make a transition to democracy. Tunisians now have a chance to show the world a new example of how religion, society, and the state can relate to one another under democratic conditions.

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January 2012, Volume 23, Issue 1

Morocco: Outfoxing the Opposition

Morocco was not immune to the 2011 upheavals in the Arab world, but the country’s monarchy deftly managed the crisis through cosmetic constitutional reform.

January 2012, Volume 23, Issue 1

Turkey Under the AKP: Are Civil Liberties Safe?

In the West, Turkey is considered a model for a secular democracy in the Muslim world, yet the country finds itself mired in a crisis of civil rights and liberties under a third term of the pro-Islamic AKP government. Ironically, while the government maintains a discourse on political reform—including constitutional amendments—the country is bitterly divided…

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April 2010, Volume 21, Issue 2

Democracy and Deep Divides

How do democracies deal with the deep divisions created by race, ethnicity, religion, and language? The cases of Canada, India, and the United States show that democratic institutions—notably, competitive elections and independent judiciaries—can bridge divides and build stability, but they must find a way to manage the tension between individual and group equality.

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

The Remarkable Story of Somaliland

Emerging from one of the world’s most notorious failed states, Somaliland has become an oasis of relative democratic stability in the troubled Horn of Africa. What does its story teach us about democratic state-building?

October 2007, Volume 18, Issue 4

Latin America’s Indigenous Peoples

Where indigenous peoples constitute a smaller share of the electorate, their recent inclusion denotes a more generalized opening of the political system to excluded and vulnerable sectors of society.

July 2004, Volume 15, Issue 3

Crafting a Constitution for Afghanistan

As 2004 began, Afghanistan approved a new constitution that represents a key step forward in its political reconstruction. But it is not yet clear whether this new constitution will enable the country to surmount the many challenges that lie ahead.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

Constitution-Making After Conflict: Lessons for Iraq

A through, deliberat, and consultative constitution-making process, which takes account of key lessons learned in other countries, will be essential to the legitimacy of a new Iraqi constitution and to the future of democracy.

April 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2

Constitutional Design for Divided Societies

Constitution writers in ethnically or otherwise divided countries should focus on designing a system of power-sharing rules and institutions. Studies by political scientists point to a set of basic recommendations that should form a starting point for constitutional negotiations.

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January 2004, Volume 15, Issue 1

Iraq: Setbacks, Advances, Prospects

The stakes are enormous and the challenges are difficult, but a look at Iraq months after the toppling of Saddam Hussein reveals that, despite all the frustrating setbacks, grounds for cautious optimism remain.

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Democracy Under Stress in Thaksin’s Thailand

In 1997, Thailand adopted constitutional reforms. Now, five years after the reforms and almost two years into the premiership of Thaksin Shinawatra, we can see the gaps and ironies that the reforms left behind.