Constitution Making and International Relations Theories

International Studies Perspectives, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2019

See all articles by Hanna Lerner

Hanna Lerner

School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, Tel Aviv University

Amir Lupovici

Tel Aviv University

Date Written: December 24, 2018


Constitution-making has become an intrinsic component of international politics. Nevertheless, International Relations scholars largely refrain from theorizing it, tending to view formal constitutional drafting as a domestic project. The article aims at challenging this perspective and advance our understanding of constitution making as an international (in addition to national) political phenomenon. Our main goal is twofold. First, we develop a new and comprehensive classification of international influences on constitution making, covering the wide range of international political dynamics impacting constitutional drafting. Moreover, the suggested typology is embedded within IR conceptualization. Secondly, the article contributes to the existing IR scholarship by demonstrating how empirical study of constitution-making illuminates overlooked areas of research and challenges existing IR theories. Our main focus here is on the study of international norms. Based on broad historical and comparative overview of constitutional drafting, analyzed through the prisms of our proposed typology, we present three theoretical insights addressing debates concerning the emergence of international norms, their dissemination, and the role of epistemic communities in facilitating their expansion. We conclude by highlighting how the interaction between international and domestic factors in the crafting of constitutions further challenges the disciplinary distinction between domestic and international politics.

Keywords: constitutions, constitution-making, international relations theory, international norms

Suggested Citation

Lerner, Hanna and Lupovici, Amir, Constitution Making and International Relations Theories (December 24, 2018). International Studies Perspectives, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Hanna Lerner (Contact Author)

School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv

Amir Lupovici

Tel Aviv University

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801

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