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

The interest group will have its next meeting at the 2024 Annual Conference in Madrid where it has also put together 5 panels.


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