Recent Publications

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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.

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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.

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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.

Semi-presidentialism

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

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).

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Political Party Finance Regulation: Constitutional reform after the Arab Spring

July 23, 2014

Political party finance law is the set of norms governing the income and expenses of political parties. Countries transitioning from authoritarian to democratic systems often grapple with questions of how to regulate political party finance in a way that both ensures political parties can compete effectively for votes during elections, while limiting the improper influences of clientelism, vote buying, business and the media. The key questions are what the ultimate goals of the system of party finance regulation should be; which rules will best reflect those goals; and when and how to implement reforms.