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How should constitutional design respond to the opportunities and challenges raised by ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural differences, and do so in ways that promote democracy, social justice, peace and stability? This is one of the most difficult questions facing societies in the world today. There are two schools of thought on how to answer this question. Under the heading of accommodation, some have argued for the need to recognize, institutionalize and empower differences. There are a range of constitutional instruments available to achieve this goal, such as multinational federalism and administrative decentralization, legal pluralism (e.g. religious personal law), other forms of non-territorial minority rights (e.g. minority language and religious education rights), consociationalism, affirmative action, legislative quotas, etc. But others have countered that such practices may entrench, perpetuate and exacerbate the very divisions they are designed to manage. They propose a range of alternative strategies that fall under the rubric of integration that will blur, transcend and cross-cut differences. Such strategies include bills of rights enshrining universal human rights enforced by judicial review, policies of disestablishment (religious and ethnocultural), federalism and electoral systems designed specifically to include members of different groups within the same political unit and to disperse members of the same group across different units, are some examples. In this volume, leading scholars of constitutional law, comparative politics and political theory address the debate at a conceptual level, as well as through numerous country case-studies, through an interdisciplinary lens, but with a legal and institutional focus.
This collection of essays surveys the full range of challenges that territorial conflicts pose for constitution-making processes and constitutional design. It provides seventeen in-depth case studies of countries going through periods of intense constitutional engagement in a variety of contexts: small distinct territories, bi-communal countries, highly diverse countries with many politically salient regions, and countries where territorial politics is important but secondary to other bases for political mobilization. Specific examples are drawn from Iraq, Kenya, Cyprus, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the UK (Scotland), Ukraine, Bolivia, India, Spain, Yemen, Nepal, Ethiopia, Indonesia (Aceh), the Philippines (Mindanao), and Bosnia-Herzegovina. While the volume draws significant normative conclusions, it is based on a realist view of the complexity of territorial and other political cleavages (the country's "political geometry"), and the power configurations that lead into periods of constitutional engagement. Thematic chapters on constitution-making processes and constitutional design draw original conclusions from the comparative analysis of the case studies and relate these to the existing literature, both in political science and comparative constitutional law. This volume is essential reading for scholars of federalism, consociational power-sharing arrangements, asymmetrical devolution, and devolution more generally. The combination of in-depth case studies and broad thematic analysis allows for analytical and normative conclusions that will be of major relevance to practitioners and advisors engaged in constitutional design.
This collection of essays surveys the full range of challenges that territorial conflicts pose for constitution-making processes and constitutional design. It provides seventeen in-depth case studies of countries going through periods of intense constitutional engagement in a variety of contexts: small distinct territories, bi-communal countries, highly diverse countries with many politically salient regions, and countries where territorial politics is important but secondary to other bases for political mobilization. Specific examples are drawn from Iraq, Kenya, Cyprus, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the UK (Scotland), Ukraine, Bolivia, India, Spain, Yemen, Nepal, Ethiopia, Indonesia (Aceh), the Philippines (Mindanao), and Bosnia-Herzegovina. While the volume draws significant normative conclusions, it is based on a realist view of the complexity of territorial and other political cleavages (the country's "political geometry"), and the power configurations that lead into periods of constitutional engagement. Thematic chapters on constitution-making processes and constitutional design draw original conclusions from the comparative analysis of the case studies and relate these to the existing literature, both in political science and comparative constitutional law. This volume is essential reading for scholars of federalism, consociational power-sharing arrangements, asymmetrical devolution, and devolution more generally. The combination of in-depth case studies and broad thematic analysis allows for analytical and normative conclusions that will be of major relevance to practitioners and advisors engaged in constitutional design.
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