In the modern-era, the making and remaking of constitutions is a key activity of both states and sub-state entities.

Almost all states have gone through the process of drafting and approving a formal constitution text at least once. Indeed, since the Philadelphia Convention of 1789, over a thousand constitutions have been drafted worldwide. This number increases substantially when we take into consideration sub-national constitutions.

Drafting a constitution is a central facet of most substantial political transformations and serves a variety of purposes. A new constitution can be the hallmark of independence from a country’s former colonial masters; it can be the product of violent, economic, or societal upheavals; it can signify a regime change, be it pro- or even anti-democratic in nature; and it can be born out of the wish to address contemporary challenges, either of a local or a global character.

Many questions arise during the process of constitution-making and remaking, including (but certainly not limited to):

• What gives constitutions their legitimacy?

• What factors and actors drive the process of (re)making a constitution?

• How should constitution-making processes be designed to ensure and enhance legitimacy?

• What should the role of the ‘public’ in constitution-making processes be?

• Which topics should be regulated in the formal constitution?

• What are the implications of the internationalisation of constitution-making practices?

With this interest group, we aim to bring together, under the umbrella of ICON-S, comparative constitutional studies scholars from multiple disciplines interested in discussing and collaborating on issues related to constitution making.

We will use the interest group both to help build a network of scholars interested in constitution-making and to provide vehicles for collaboration. Over the next three years, we anticipate this might include:

•    a virtual forum to workshop work-in-progress papers on topics relating to constitution-making;

•    a hybrid workshop culminating in an edited volume on topics of mutual interest and/or a potential collaboration with the ICONnect blog for a blog symposium on constitution-making.


Maartje De Visser, Singapore Management University,

Mariana Velasco-Rivera, Maynooth University,

Elisabeth Perham, University of New South Wales,

Berihun Gebeye, University College London,

Amal Sethi, University of Hamburg,

Upcoming chapter events, projects, and activities

Stay tuned for updates!


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