Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Tag: constitutional design

  • The Audacity of the Expert Commission in Chile

    —Francisco Soto Barrientos, Professor, and Benjamín Alemparte, Researcher, University of Chile [Editor’s Note: Professor Soto is a member of the Expert Commission, while Mr. Alemparte is serving as his advisor.] The remarkable level of almost unanimous consent in the approval of a new constitution’s draft by Chile’s Expert Commission is an unprecedented case in the country’s constitution-making history.

  • American Exceptionalism and the Capitol Riot One Year Later

    —Miguel Schor, Drake University School of Law American exceptionalism is a term of art comparativists employ to write and think about the United States. Two remarkable phenomena underpin the claim of American exceptionalism. First, the United States self-consciously envisioned itself as setting an example to the world when it drafted a new constitution in the late eighteenth century.

  • Beyond Republic or Emirate: Afghan Constitutional System at Crossroads

    — Zubair Abbasi, Chevening Fellow, Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, Associate Professor, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Introduction President Biden’s declaration of US withdrawal from Afghanistan has raised concerns about the future of the Afghan constitutional system. Afghanistan’s current Constitution was adopted in 2004.

  • International Assistance to Constitution Making between Principle and Expediency

    —Mara Malagodi, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law [Editors’ Note: This is one of our biweekly ICONnect columns. For more information on our four columnists for 2021, please see here.] In the aftermath of the Cold War many countries underwent political transitions coupled with extensive constitutional changes.

  • A Country with Two Rival Presidents: Is it Time for Afghanistan to Formally Move to Consociationalism?

    –Shamshad Pasarlay, Herat University School of Law and Political Science. Email: shamshad.bahar[at] One of the daunting puzzles for scholars interested in constitutional design is how to craft a democratic constitution for a deeply divided society.[1] The challenge is to form a system of government in which all religious, ethnic and linguistic groups of a deeply divided polity are adequately represented such that they accept their concerns are being addressed and their rights protected.

  • Democratic Erosion and Militant Democracy

    –Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq, The University of Chicago Law School In 1937, the German political scientist Karl Loewenstein published a two-part article that coined the term militant democracy.[1]  Concerned with the inadequate democratic response to the rising threat of fascism, he called for a set of legislative and legal techniques that would allow democracy to defend itself against threats that emerge from within.

  • Virtual Bookshelf–Siren Songs or Legal Authority?: A Brief Review of “Constitutional Preambles,” by Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler and Paul Cliteur

    —Richard Albert, Boston College Law School Samoa recently amended its constitution to declare itself a Christian state. For some, this was a curious move given that Samoa’s preamble already proclaims Christianity as the national religion. Why, then, was the amendment necessary?

  • Book Review: Cornelia Weiss on Helen Irving’s “Constitutions and Gender”

    [Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series, Cornelia Weiss reviews Helen Irving’s Constitutions and Gender (Edward Elgar 2017)] –Cornelia Weiss, Colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate Corps* As incredible as it seems, it was not until 1971 that the U.S.

  • 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.

  • Is There an Optimal Constitutional Design for Presidential Impeachments?

    —Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, University of Brasília Comparative constitutional law is now faced with a rich debate over the scope, limits, and consequences of impeachment proceedings. Since the Brazilian President Dilma Roussef was temporarily suspended from office and thereby replaced by the acting President Michel Temer after the Senate had voted to begin an impeachment trial against her on May 11, this instrument has attracted the attention of constitutional scholars worldwide.