Making Constitutions in Deeply Divided Societies

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 12, 2011 - Law
0 Reviews
How can societies still grappling over the common values and shared vision of their state draft a democratic constitution? This is the central puzzle of Making Constitutions in Deeply Divided Societies. While most theories discuss constitution-making in the context of a moment of revolutionary change, Hanna Lerner argues that an incrementalist approach to constitution-making can enable societies riven by deep internal disagreements to either enact a written constitution or function with an unwritten one. She illustrates the process of constitution-writing in three deeply divided societies - Israel, India and Ireland - and explores the various incrementalist strategies deployed by their drafters. These include the avoidance of clear decisions, the use of ambivalent legal language and the inclusion of contrasting provisions in the constitution. Such techniques allow the deferral of controversial choices regarding the foundational aspects of the polity to future political institutions, thus enabling the constitution to reflect a divided identity.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
PART I Constitutions democracy identity
13
PART II Varieties of constitutional incrementalism
47
PART III Arguments for and against constitutional incrementalism
191
Conclusion
230
Bibliography
235
Index
258
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Hanna Lerner is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Tel Aviv University and a visiting fellow at the Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies, Princeton University.

Bibliographic information