Politics of Constitutional Reforms and Democratization in Africa

Politics of Constitutional Reforms and Democratization in Africa Politics of Constitutional Reforms and Democratization in Africa JULIUS O. IHONVBERE ¤ ABSTRACT Any constitution that does not emerge from widespread consultations with all nationality and interest groups cannot be regarded as legitimate. The basis of constitutional legitimacy must now be measured by the extent to which the masses have been part of the process of compacting the constitution. 1 The mere existence of a constitution, however comprehensive, will do little to create a stable environment for democracy and development unless people know and understand its provisions, have faith that their governments will not overrule it, and believe that their rights as promulgated within it, will indeed be upheld (Ould-Abdallah 1998). Introduction: Global Issues and Objectives C ONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS have become the main political activity in most African states. In Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria to mention a few, constitutions are either being reformed or there are very intensive contestations on the need for reforms. Without doubt, these agita- tions for reforms and on going reviews of existing constitutions are precipitates of the changing character of national, regional, and global politics. The end of the Cold War has had far-reaching impacts on socioeconomic and political http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) Brill

Politics of Constitutional Reforms and Democratization in Africa

International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology), Volume 41 (1): 9 – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2000 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0020-7152
eISSN
1745-2554
D.O.I.
10.1163/156851800511658
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Politics of Constitutional Reforms and Democratization in Africa JULIUS O. IHONVBERE ¤ ABSTRACT Any constitution that does not emerge from widespread consultations with all nationality and interest groups cannot be regarded as legitimate. The basis of constitutional legitimacy must now be measured by the extent to which the masses have been part of the process of compacting the constitution. 1 The mere existence of a constitution, however comprehensive, will do little to create a stable environment for democracy and development unless people know and understand its provisions, have faith that their governments will not overrule it, and believe that their rights as promulgated within it, will indeed be upheld (Ould-Abdallah 1998). Introduction: Global Issues and Objectives C ONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS have become the main political activity in most African states. In Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria to mention a few, constitutions are either being reformed or there are very intensive contestations on the need for reforms. Without doubt, these agita- tions for reforms and on going reviews of existing constitutions are precipitates of the changing character of national, regional, and global politics. The end of the Cold War has had far-reaching impacts on socioeconomic and political

Journal

International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology)Brill

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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