Edited by Anthony F. Lang and Antje Wiener
Chapter 21: Constitution making
The chapter maintains that different forms of democratic constitution making are susceptible to authoritarian dangers and deformation to quite different extents. Nevertheless, I argue, that because of the significantly path-determined nature of the specific methods adopted, normative preference cannot always lead to the utilization of what is deemed best or even better. I try to make the case by analysing and comparing the major assembly forms of constitution making: extra-ordinary constituent assemblies, ordinary legislatures, American-type conventions, and round tables linked either to ordinary legislatures or to limited constitutional assemblies. I next try to show that even when the political path of transformation does not favour the adoption of the best paradigms of constitution making, it is possible to learn important things from both legitimating principles and specific mechanisms of the latter. I conclude with some reflections on the role, both negative and positive, of international actors in the process of constitution making. I distinguish here between types of intervention and the levels of influence on domestic actors.
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