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Constructing Democracy in Transitioning Societies of Africa : Constitutionalism and Deliberation in Mali - Susanna D. Wing

Constructing Democracy in Transitioning Societies of Africa

Constitutionalism and Deliberation in Mali


Published: 1st April 2008
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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.

"Wing s focus on constitutional legitimacy and literacy is a very welcome addition to analyses of democratic development on the African continent. She offers a rich discussion of the actual functioning of the new institutions and demonstrates not only the innovations of the forums but also the great challenges that citizens face in accessing them. Wing s innovative analysis of constitutionalism in Mali . . .offer[s] important insights into the development of democracy that are relevant far beyond the case [she] investigates." - Perspectives on Politics

"This is an important and defining book about democratization in Africa focusing on the case of Mali, but within a comparative African perspective. Dr. Wing has a new and exciting perspective on the themes of democracy, constitutionalism, participation, and legitimacy, and Constructing African Democracy: Mali in Transition can be a real landmark in the field of comparative democratization in Africa, and in the study of constitutional transformation in plural societies." - Bruce Magnusson, Professor of Politics, Whitman College

Principles of Constitutionalism
Democratic Transitions and Their Legacies in Comparative Perspective
Originating Participation: The Sovereign National Conference
Integrating Citizens and the State: Decentralization and Elections
Challenges to Inclusion: Constitutionalism and the Rights of Women
Experiments in Dialogue
Dialogue in Times of Crisis
Conclusions: Dialogue and Legitimacy
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780230604636
ISBN-10: 0230604633
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 245
Published: 1st April 2008
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1