Constitutional Design in Multiethnic Societies

B575 is taught by D. Williams

In the twenty-first century, more countries than ever before are searching for a constitution tailored to their own challenges and traditions, in the hope that proper constitutional design can improve their politics and social relations. This course will consider how such countries can design a constitution. It will consider the choices open to constitutional designers on a range of subjects, such as the different electoral systems, styles of federalism, and approaches to civil/military relations, and it will examine what we know (or think we know) about the likely consequences of the various choices. Students will then put this knowledge to work: in teams, they will choose a real country in the world and design a good constitution for it, through several short papers and one long paper written over the course of the semester. Extensive research into the constitutional history, traditions, politics, and social relations of the chosen country will be required, so as to draft a constitution closely tailored to conditions on the ground.