Peacemaking and Constitution-drafting, a Dysfunctional MarriageExpressO (2011)
AbstractThis article seeks to challenge a potentially dangerous assumption that constitution-drafting is an appropriate peacemaking tool in countries suffering from on-going violent conflict. A recent trend in conflict resolution is to use constitution-drafting as a form of peace negotiation and the resultant constitution as a peace treaty, such as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nepal. Policy-makers simply assume that the goals and needs of constitution-drafting and peacemaking are compatible. On closer examination, however, while theoretically the goals and needs of the two processes can be harmonized, in practice, a combined constitution-drafting/peacemaking process causes deep, inherent tensions to erupt that make it far too likely that peacemaking needs will subordinate constitution-drafting goals. In doing so, the merged process not only risks the failure of the constitution but also risks renewing violence. When warring parties demand constitutional change to secure peace, however, it may be impossible to prevent the merger. This article concludes that the best way to salvage this peacemaking tool is through an interim constitutional process that allows parties to make the immediate constitutional change necessary for a cease-fire in a temporary constitution while giving society the room to meet constitutional needs when drafting a permanent constitution.
Publication DateMarch 18, 2011
Citation InformationHallie Ludsin, Peacemaking and Constitution-drafting, a Dysfunctional Marriage, 33 UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 249 (2011)