Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Author: dlansbergr

  • Fatherland, Socialism or Death

    –Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez Yesterday a new article of mine came out in Foreign Policy on some of the possible contingencies  for the upcoming Venezuelan Elections. An earlier version of the piece, which the FP editors felt may be a bit too legalistic and technical for their purposes, was just the sort of thing which I suspect might be of more interest to readers here on constitutionmaking.org 

  • Venezuelan Elections/FP

    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.”

  • Keeping up with the Obiangs: Theft and Hereditary Succession in Dictatorships

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “kleptocracy” was first introduced into the English language in 1819 as a contemporary criticism of the Imperial Spanish Government. Perhaps it is fitting then that the leadership of tiny Equatorial Guinea – one of Spain’s former colonies – is doing so much to keep this particular colonial legacy alive.

  • When to Overthrow Your Government: The Right to Resist in the World’s Constitutions

    Tom Ginsburg, Mila Versteeg and myself have just posted the preliminary version our upcoming article on the Right to Rebel within the world’s written constitutions unto SSRN. The article, which is available for download here, may well be of interest to our fellow scholars, bloggers and constitutional enthusiasts. 

  • 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.