Constitutions are a vital support to the outcomes of pluralism. Several organizations and research initiatives focus on constitutions and constitution-making processes. Our initial presentation of these initiatives is organized by the project or program name.
- Center for Constitutional Transitions | School of Law, New York University
- Comparative Constitutions Project |The Cline Center for Democracy, University of Illinois
- iconnectblog.com | International Journal of Constitutional Law and ConstitutionMaking.org
- ConstitutionNet.org | International IDEA, Interpeace, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Constitution Building Process | International IDEA
- Constitution-making for Peace | Interpeace
Keywords: research, practice, knowledge sharing
Under the direction of constitutional scholar and advisor Sujit Chaudhry, the Center for Constitutional Transitions engages in research and education in support of constitution building through (1) thematic agenda-setting research that produces pioneering scholarship and a comparative foundation for constitution building; (2) a constitutional transitions clinic to educate the next generation of field practitioners and provide “back office”, real-time research support to constitutional advisors in the field; and (3) a constitutional transitions colloquium that serves as a forum for cutting-edge analysis of the latest scholarship on constitution building.
Keywords: constitutional design, global, historical, database
Directed by Zachary Elkins (University of Texas, Department of Government) and Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago, Law School), in cooperation with the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois, the intent of the Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) is to investigate the sources and consequences of constitutional choices. Towards this end, the investigators are collecting data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789. The data will ultimately be available in its entirety to the public. The project also sponsors a website called constitutionmaking.org to inform constitutional designers. The site features reports on the prevalence of various constitutional provisions as well as sample clauses, and a forum reporting on recent news from the world of constitutional design. In addition, the site has a searchable database of selected constitutional texts.
Keywords: current developments, forum, commentary, analysis
iconnect.com is the blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and ConstitutionMaking.org. Originated by Constititutionmaking.org, the blog is now produced in partnership with the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON). The blog contains “real-time” updates on recent constitutional cases and amendments, constitution-making efforts, and other developments in the field. In addition to providing commentary from scholars and constitution drafters, it serves as a forum for analysis on issues relating to comparative constitutional law.
Keywords: knowledge exchange, practitioners, virtual library
ConstitutionNet is a joint initiative of International IDEA and Interpeace and is maintained by IDEA with funding from the Government of Norway. It aims to service the knowledge needs of an expanding group of those involved in constitution building. ConstitutionNet supports constitution building practitioners by (1) providing knowledge resources and tools; (2) sharing experiences and perspectives; and (3) building a community of practice. The site features an extensive online collection of comparative documentation on key constitution building processes globally. The documents cover all phases of constitution making processes such as preparatory, drafting, adoption and implementation phases. The collected documents are in paper, electronic, digital, audio and video formats.
Keywords: conflict, democracy, technical assistance, knowledge exchange
Together with local, regional and global partners, the Constitution Building programme of International IDEA raises awareness of the role constitution-building processes play in managing conflict and consolidating democracy. The work involves: (1) providing technical assistance to national actors engaged in processes of constitution building; (2) providing knowledge and capacity-building resources that individuals and groups can use to strengthen their participation, and its quality, in processes of constitution building; (3) facilitating access to lesson learning in comparative contexts so that national, regional and international actors have more options to consider in dealing with different constitutional issues; and (4) supporting a global community of constitution building practitioners through physical and virtual spaces for dialogue. International IDEA is a partner in ConstitutionNet.org.
Keywords: dialogue, capacity building, constitutional design, process
Interpeace is an independent, international peacebuilding organization and a strategic partner of the United Nations. It supports national teams in countries across Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. Through its thematic program on constitution-making, Interpeace works to enhance constitution-making processes in three ways: (1) by enhancing the capacity of national constitution-makers as well as key members of the international community to design, lead, implement and support constitution-making processes that lead to the foundations of lasting peace; (2) by supporting development of inclusive frameworks that offer a structure for governance, while addressing the root causes of conflict; and (3) by broadening the foundations of national dialogue to build consensus and to assist with conflict management, transformation, reconciliation and the strengthening of democratic institutions. Interpeace recently published a comprehensive handbook on constitution-making processes for lasting peace.