BLR  Vol.5 No.1 , March 2014
Notes on Constitutional Endurance
Author(s) Dag Anckar*
ABSTRACT

Among the countries of the world there are great differences in terms of constitutional endurance, i.e. the life span of national constitutions. Exploring these differences the literature in this field has observed associations between democracy and constitutional survival, and this article contributes in the form of a case study to the still somewhat fragmentary evidence for a correlation. Investigating a set of countries composed of former British colonies, the study shows that clearly more than semi-democratic and non-democratic colonies, the democratic colonies have been during independence endurance guardians. However, the good endurance record may follow from the fact that more than other states democracies change their constitutions by means of individual amendments to constitutional texts rather than by constitutional turnover. There is therefore a need for future endurance studies to probe deeper into the amendment institution. Of several other endurance aspects that are brought to the fore in the study, one is about regional differences and particularly about the case of Africa, which stands out as a place for an ongoing vast constitutional muddle and reshuffle. Indeed, of more than 80 constitutions introduced in the world in the 1990s, no less than 38 were adopted by African states. Since several of these transitions have implied a rejection of one-party rule and one-party elections and a growing acceptance of competitive elections, the African endurance gap may in the long run prove beneficial to political development.


Cite this paper
Anckar, D. (2014). Notes on Constitutional Endurance. Beijing Law Review, 5, 80-88. doi: 10.4236/blr.2014.51007.
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