Learning from Success, Learning from Failure: South Africa, Hungary, Turkey and Egypt
Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 39, Nos. 4-5, 2013
15 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2013
The article has several theses. First we propose that there is a new method of constitution-making today, the two-stage, post-sovereign one perfected in South Africa. Second, we admit the path-dependent nature, and difficult pre-conditions, of this method. Third, we maintain that even when the full method is unlikely in a given context, its legitimating principles nevertheless can play a role through international dissemination. We explore that possibility in the context of the projected comprehensive reform of Turkey, and the constitutional revolution in Egypt. It is our belief that in these contexts one can learn both from successes of the new method and also from its failures typified by the Hungarian case that we briefly present. We are unfortunately not optimistic about the success of the new method especially where actors maintain their strong belief in the constituent power of the popular sovereign. This is likely to be the case in revolutions, but can happen in reform or even during the last state of the post-sovereign method itself.
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