Thinking Beyond the Original Bargain: Post Ratification Constitution Making and the Case of Iraq
10 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012 Last revised: 4 Oct 2012
Date Written: 2012
This paper, submitted in connection with a panel at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, explores some of the implications of regarding a constitution making exercise as not merely the enactment of a particularly important piece of legislation, but rather the establishment a broad and long lasting national compact. In a society such as Iraq, which is not only divided, but where different communities have radically different visions of an ideal state order, such high stakes can be impossible to manage. As such, one way to address the problem of constitution making in such contexts is to embrace ambiguity and deferral as means to reach consensus among sharply divided communities, thereby creating space for future (partial) resolution of existing disputes. This paper explores representative examples where such efforts have been undertaken in Iraq, and the extent to which they have been successful.
Keywords: Iraq, constitution, constitution making
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