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Video Interview: Get to Know the Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

In this installment of our video interview series at I-CONnect, I interview Susan Williams and David Williams from the Center for Constitutional Democracy (CCD). Both chaired professors at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University, Susan and David Williams serve as Director and Executive Director, respectively, of the CCD.

What is the CCD? Here is a short description:

The CCD is a pioneer in the development of the emerging discipline of constitutional design, which provides an in-depth understanding of how law contributes to democratic institutions, democratic practices, and democratic cultural evolution. We train students in this evolving area of expertise, preparing them to support reform and to promote peace and justice in a global environment.

By serving as advisors during the processes of constitutional drafting and reform, providing training to civil society and women’s groups in order strengthen their participation in the constitutional process, and offering PhD students and JD affiliates valuable and unique opportunities for research, fieldwork, and access to distinguished visiting scholars and conferences, the CCD seeks to transform the ideals of a productive democracy into firmly entrenched realities across the world. Nations and communities that value and promote the rights of women and disenfranchised minority groups, that appreciate the value in enforcing a system of checks and balances, and that perceive constitutions as important cultural tools in the promotion and longevity of democratic practices – these are the ones most likely to achieve long-term economic, political, and social stability. The multi-faceted, interdisciplinary work that the CCD does is always in service of this larger goal.

In our interview, Susan and David Williams discuss the origins of the CCD, how they see their role as advisors to constitution-makers, and how the Center gets involved in constitutional design projects around the world.

We also discuss the connection between scholarship in constitutional design and the actual work of designing constitutions, as well how scholars of constitutional design might improve their scholarship to better reflect the realities of constitution-making and re-making.

The CCD has an informative webpage, a new affiliated journal called the Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design, and what is to my knowledge the first and only doctoral degree in constitutional design in the United States.

I-CONnect invites you to get to know the work of the CCD.

The full interview runs roughly 27 minutes, and is available here.

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Published on February 15, 2017
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