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A globalizing constitutionalism? Views from the Postcolony, 1945–2000

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Chapter Summary

Postcolonial constitutions are part and parcel of a ‘globalizing constitutionalism’. Neoinstitutionalism highlights the cultural and cognitive dimensions of the world system. This chapter provides an overview of postcolonial independence constitutions since 1945. It also examines their rewritten forms (as of the year 2000). The analysis is admittedly broad and cursory, and covers a limited set of features in the constitutions. The chapter focuses upon constitutional texts rather than implementation or practice, and nonetheless offer some preliminary insights into world society’s influence on the postcolonial constitutional order. It also speaks of something on which neoinstitutionalist approaches have been silent: the contrapunal tendencies of homogenization and hetereogeneity. The very fact that all postcolonial countries adopted written constitutions indicates that by the mid-20th century, when decolonization began, any state entering the system had to have a single-document constitution in order to be a legitimate nation.

Keywords: decolonization; globalizing constitutionalism; homogenization; neoinstitutionalism; postcolonial constitutions; world society



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