Constitution Making, Peacebuilding, and National Reconciliation

USIP's advisory work on constitution making is focused on providing options to design and conduct participatory, inclusive, transparent, and nationally owned constitution making processes that enjoy legitimacy and promote national dialogue, reconciliation, and a consensual political community. 

Current Activities
Launched in 2009, this web-based resource provides essential input for practitioners involved in constitution making processes. The tools and intellectual resources if offers include a digital library of constitutions, comparative analysis of a variety of issues, and a blog dedicated to reporting and reflecting on constitutional developments worldwide. | Visit the site

Public Participation in Constitution Making
In countries coming out of conflict, the perceived legitimacy of a constitution, and how it was created, may be as essential to success as the outcome of any particular substantive issue. Therefore, public consultation accompanied by robust public information campaigns is a fundamental element of constitutional processes. In 2009, USIP partnered with International Interpeace and International IDEA to host a conference on these issues.

Rethinking Federalism and Power Sharing in Post-Conflict Divided Societies
Federalism has become a popular answer to the question of how to reconstruct post-conflict states, particularly those divided along ethnic, religious, or linguistic lines. Unfortunately, most federal models have been developed in and for advanced western democracies, making their application to non-western developing countries difficult. In addition, federalism and power sharing have too often been viewed in competition with each other, with little regard for possible synergies. USIP is partnering with the Forum of Federations to reexamine current thinking on institutional design in order to maximize the positive impact these processes and institutions can play in conflict resolution and post-conflict state building.

Country-Specific Engagements
The Constitution Making Project engages directly in ongoing constitution making processes, providing support and advice on issues of substance, process, and implementation. In the past, we have worked with government, international, and NGO/civil society organizations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, and DRC, among others. We currently work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan. | Read more about our ongoing projects.

Issue Areas: