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Inclusive constitution making in fragile and conflict-affected states

Research report

Written by Clare Castillejo

Research report

Support for constitution making is an important element of international engagement in countries emerging from conflict or political transition. This support often focuses on promoting inclusive constitution making, recognising that this can help establish a more inclusive state and social contract, and address exclusion-related drivers of fragility. However, such support is frequently based on an incorrect assumption that an inclusive constitution-making process leads automatically to inclusive content and outcomes.

This report examines key elements required to promote inclusion in the constitution-making process, the constitutional text, and in terms of outcomes from the new constitution. It argues that constitution making in fragile and conflict-affected states must be understood as part of wider political settlement bargaining that shapes the opportunity structures for promoting inclusion at every stage. Finally, the report examines both the important role international actors can play in supporting inclusive constitution making and the challenges they face in doing so.

Clare Castillejo