Project Launch: Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions

Constitutional Transitions is partnering with the Forum of FederationsInternational IDEA, the Manuel Giménez Abad Foundation, and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs Policy and Mediation Division for its research project, “Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions.”  The project’s focus includes issues arising from particular territorial, political, and collective demands for constitutional accommodation in contexts of constitutional transition. With twenty-six experts from thirteen countries, the project examines the experiences of countries that have had to deal with pressures for territorial autonomy as part of attempted or successful constitutional transition.

For this project, constitutional transitions concern two distinctive but related types of processes: a) transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule (often post-conflict, but also during on-going or potential conflict) and b) transitions (actual or potential) within functioning electoral democracies in response to claims for territorial autonomy, and where political violence possibly is or has been a central issue. In particular, attention will be devoted to the territorial dimension of constitutional transition and design, including principles, participation, interim arrangements, legality and decision-making forums, ratification, the involvement of international actors, and sequencing. Case studies will include successes as well as blocked or failed processes.

Members of the project’s steering committee include George Anderson (Constitutional Transitions), Sumit Bisarya (International IDEA), Rupak Chattopadhyay (Forum of Federations), Sujit Choudhry (Constitutional Transitions), Jason Gluck (UNDPA), Jose Tudela (Abad Foundation), and Asanga Welikala (University of Edinburgh). The project will produce a policy manual and an issue paper, directed at an audience of advisors and practitioners working in the field, an edited volume comprising fifteen case studies, three thematic papers accompanied by a thematic overview, and working papers available freely online. A meeting will take place in March 2014 in Zaragoza, Spain. The project is projected to be completed by winter 2014-15.


Project Launch: Constitutional Reform Processes and Security Sector Reform: Principles for Practice