Susanna Wing Publishes Constructing Democracy in Transitioning Societies in Africa: Constitutionalism and Deliberation in Mali
Published on: 07/22/08
Forty-one different African states have adopted over fifty-seven new constitutions since 1989; yet few of these have become foundations for democracy. Failed transitions, subsequent instability, and violent conflict make it clear that democracy cannot simply be constructed by holding elections and implementing new constitutions. Unlike other attempts to explain both the frequent failures and the success stories of African constitutionalism by focusing on constitutional outcomes, Wing's study examines the process by which constitutions and democratic institutions are constructed. Based on extensive field work in Mali, this book explores how innovative constitutional dialogues involving participation, negotiation, and recognition of groups previously excluded from political decision-making may be the key to a legitimate constitution.