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Constitution-making in Somalia

A fascinating, first-hand account of current UN-led constitution-making efforts in war-ridden Somalia — arguably one of the bleakest, most dysfunctional corners of today’s world — is offered by Professor David Cameron of the University of Toronto’s Department of Political Science. Professor Cameron, a prominent scholar of Canadian federalism and inter-governmental relations, has long been involved in international efforts to draw on constitutional design and on bona fides multi-party constitutional consultations to mitigate strife in conflict or post-conflict hot spots such as Iraq, Sudan and Sri Lanka.

RH

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Published on July 21, 2010
Author:          Filed under: HP; constitutional design, Ran Hirschl, Somalia
 

3 Responses

  1. Ran: I enjoyed the short piece on Somalia that you provided a link to. It made me think about what the counter-arguments might be to crafting a constitution for a collapsed state such as Somalia. The central problem is how to create order and that will turn on some sort of a political pact between the various warlords. I am concerned that constitutions can be problematic if introduced too early in the process as they can become a focal point for crystallizing disagreements.

  2. That’s a good point! With respect to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, for example, the prevalent approach in international mediation efforts has been to leave the core bones of contention (e.g. Jerusalem, right of return) for the final stage and deal with the “softer” issues first. I suppose that in the particular case of Somalia things are so dismal, that there is virtually nothing to lose by trying the constitutional path, however long shot it may be.

  3. The UN is trying to fit the wrong key in to the wrong door…for 15+ times in the past 20+ years.
    The TFG & past TNG’s have all miserably failed the Somali people…. If the TFG can’t fallow the current Somali Constitution…what makes you think that they would fallow the new (proposed) one?

    Why is UN not looking in to other alternatives?

    Such as multi party government based on ideology rather than tribe (or islamophobia from the west).
    (Hanoolaato National Party and other parties)

    The UN has done everything that is unnatural in the eyes of the Somali people…and now the UN is trying to break up the Somali people (in this new proposed constitution) in to little land lands all based on tribe..which will lead to more bloodshed.

    Deeq M Afrika
    Aduunyo.com

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