Comparative Constitution Making
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Comparative Constitution Making

Edited by David Landau and Hanna Lerner

Recent years have witnessed an explosion of new research on constitution making. Comparative Constitution Making provides an up-to-date overview of this rapidly expanding field.
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Chapter 23: Constitution making and public participation in Southeast Asia

Melissa Crouch


In this chapter I consider contemporary constitution-making efforts across Southeast Asia. I explore the process of constitution making and the forms and extent of public involvement across constitution making under UN administration (East Timor and Cambodia); under military rule (Thailand and Myanmar); under democratic transition (Indonesia and Philippines) and under dominant party rule (Singapore, Malaysia). I focus on two forms of constitution-making in Southeast Asia: drafting a new constitution, and constitution making via formal constitutional amendment. The political conditions under which constitution making takes place influences the legitimacy of any public participation, and the history of participation in constitution making affects the extent of participation in present efforts at reform. Although various forms of public participation have been employed, there have often been serious concerns raised as to the freedoms of individuals to participate and the perceived legitimacy of the final outcome. The region of Southeast Asia requires us to reexamine the actual conditions or prerequisites for genuine participation in constitution making.

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