Recent Publications

Decentralization in Unitary States: Constitutional Frameworks for the Arab States Region

February 2, 2015

This report explores the important issue of how decentralization can be implemented in unitary countries to deepen democratic values and improve the quality of life and human security in neglected communities. The report addresses the benefits of decentralization to the MENA region and how constitutional incorporation of various principles can increase opportunities for decentralization and help improve standards of living throughout the region.

Oil and Natural Gas: Constitutional Frameworks for the Arab States Region

February 2, 2015

This report focuses on the relationship between oil and gas and constitutions and is of particular importance to the MENA region because of its significant natural resources. It addresses possible design options for the regulation of oil and gas resources through constitutional provisions to enhance accountability, transparency, fair distribution, and efficiency.

Combating Corruption: Constitutional Frameworks for the Middle East and North Africa

February 2, 2015

This report considers the constitutional frameworks and mechanisms available to prevent and reduce corruption, with particular reference to the transitional states of the Arab region.The report find that most successful anti-corruption frameworks combine a number of preventive, corrective and restorative safeguards, and adopt a coordinated, rather than piecemeal, approach to the problem of corruption.

Democracy Without Political Parties: Constitutional Options

June 27, 2014

This Working Paper addresses the question of what role political parties generally play in democracies, and asks whether an electoral system can establish effective and democratically accountable government in the absence of political parties. The Working Paper identifies the democratic functions ordinarily performed by political parties in electoral democratic government, describes how parties are typically regulated in constitutions, and discusses constitutional design options for electoral democracy in which political parties play a minimal role. Part of the Working Paper Series Meeting the Challenges of Emerging Constitutional Democracy.

Semi-Presidential Government in the Post-Authoritarian Context

June 27, 2014

The semi-presidential form of government offers a middle ground between “pure” presidential and “pure” parliamentary systems of government, and may for this reason be especially attractive to new or transitioning democracies. This Working Paper considers the options available for structuring the semi-presidential system under three headings: constitutional architecture; the distribution of executive powers; and security and emergency powers. Part of the Working Paper Series Meeting the Challenges of Emerging Constitutional Democracy.

Minority Rights in Culturally Diverse Societies

June 27, 2014

How should cultural diversity be reflected in the constitutional and governmental arrangements of a country emerging from a history of dictatorial or oppressive government? Minority groups may seek special arrangements to protect their basic human rights as well as constitutional provisions providing specific rights to protect their cultural identities. This Working Paper considers a range of approaches to dealing with these questions during constitutional transition. Part of the Working Paper Series Meeting the Challenges of Emerging Constitutional Democracy.

Dealing with the Creation of Constituent Units in Federal and Politically Devolved Regimes: A Brief Guide for Practitioners

June 27, 2014

This manual sets out elements of analysis and questions that are intended to aid practitioners and advisers in addressing how to define or delimit constituent territorial units within federal countries. Part of the Working Paper Series Meeting the Challenges of Emerging Constitutional Democracy; based off of the longer Working Paper “Creation of Constituent Units in Federal Systems”.

Creation of Constituent Units in Federal Systems

June 27, 2014

Federal and devolved systems of government are based on a territorial delimitation into political states, provinces or regions. This paper looks at the experiences of over 20 federal and quasi-federal countries in defining new territorial regions or “constituent units”.  It examines both the issues around defining constituent units during a period of constitutional transition as well as the rules that have been developed for the incremental creation of new constituent units once a federal constitution has been adopted. Part of the Working Paper Series Meeting the Challenges of Emerging Constitutional Democracy.

Semi-Presidentialism as Power Sharing: Constitutional reform after the Arab Spring

April 17, 2014

Semi-presidential government, if carefully designed, can act as a mechanism to promote power sharing and ensure that presidential dictatorship does not re-emerge in a post-authoritarian context. This report analyzes a range of options for designing a semi-presidential system, considering the extent to which these options can ensure: (1) limited presidential power, (2) an effective legislature capable of exercising oversight of the president and the government, (3) effective and meaningful power sharing between the prime minister and the president, and (4) presidential leadership in times of crisis.

Constitutional Courts after the Arab Spring: Appointment mechanisms and relative judicial independence

April 17, 2014

A constitutional court may play an important role in consolidating democracy after a constitutional transition, and it is important for this reason that constitutional courts are independent, yet accountable institutions. This report investigates how constitutional court appointment procedures can promote both judicial independence and judicial accountability to a democratically elected government, analyzing four models of appointments as they are applied in six countries (Germany, South Africa, Egypt, Iraq, Italy and Turkey).