I recently did an analysis on the upcoming Venezuelan elections for Foreign Policy. Although some interesting observations on the possible effects of constitutionally mandated voter participation laws failed to make it past the cutting room floor, I suspect it may still be of interest to the readers of this blog.
Pussy Riot: when “disproportionate” is inappropriate
Shortly after a Moscow court sentenced the three female rock musicians from Pussy Riot to two years in a penal colony for ‘hooliganism,’ the United States Embassy in Russia sent off the following disapproving tweet: “Today’s verdict in the Pussy Riot case looks disproportionate.”
Azerbaijani Conscription – Update
In the Spring of last year I wrote a piece for this forum exploring a constitutionally dubious Azerbaijani mechanism requiring universal military service for young men on the one hand (punishable by imprisonment), while at the same time maintaining a legally unenforceable constitutional “right for alternative service” on the other – as a cover providing international legitimacy.
The Central American Right to Rebel: why it served the 1982 Revolutionary Junta in Guatemala but could not save Zelaya:
The first de facto right to resist in the Central American region was introduced by El Salvador in its constitution of 1886.(1) This right was subsequently expanded upon in 1945, and reached its present form in 1950.(2) Since that time many neighboring countries such as Honduras and Guatemala have likewise adopted similar provisions as have culturally similar Caribbean nations such as Cuba and Venezuela.
Arab Spring Constitutionalism
A piece I wrote on Constitutional reform in the Arab World was recently published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as expert commentary. Special thanks to Tom Ginsburg who helped me a great deal with his knowledge of the region.
Fear and Loathing in Santo Domingo
Recently, the government of the Dominican Republic has began to implement a national policy aimed at stripping citizenship from the Dominican-born children of illegal immigrants. Primarily, the affected population consists of Dominican-Haitian adults who have spent their lives being considered legally Dominican.
A Constitutional State of Emergency in Nigeria
Last Saturday a terrorist attack by the Islamist insurrectionist group Boko Haram killed well over 100 people in the Nigerian city of Kano. This tragic event may have strengthened the domestic position of beleaguered Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan at a time when sectarian violence, and increasingly visible popular protests against rising gasoline prices, seem to be pushing the West African nation to the brink of chaos.