On Using U.S. Diplomatic Records for Research on African Constitutions: A Guide to the Archives
8 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2019
Date Written: 2002
A rich, but unexpected, source for research in African constitutional history is records of the U.S. Department of State at the National Archives. Because the State Department followed African constitutional politics, particularly as African nations moved toward independence in the 1950s and 60s, U.S. diplomatic records document African constitutional developments, and sometimes include local sources, such as competing constitutional proposals. Drawing upon her own research on constitutional politics in Kenya in the early 1960s, the author describes the sort of primary sources that might be found in U.S. diplomatic records. Because these sources are rarely used by legal scholars, this essay provides a practical guide to constitutional history research in U.S. diplomatic records.
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