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Post-Colonial collages: Distributions of power and constitutional models, with special reference to South Africa

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the adoption of particular features of post-Cold War constitutionalism - constitutional courts; devolved forms of state authority; and independent constitutional bodies, created with the purpose of fragmenting and taming state power. While based on the available ‘hegemonic’ models, these constitutional arrangements take on new forms in the postcolonial collage which has emerged from this latest round of state reconstruction. The constitutional outcomes, the 1993 ‘interim’ and 1996 ‘final’ constitutions, of South Africa’s democratic transition also reproduced the post-Cold War international political culture in a particular hybridity. The defining feature of the wave of political reconstruction and constitution-making that has characterized the end of the Cold War is its historical timing. Although the protagonists of a federal solution for South Africa advocated a national government of limited powers, the transitional 1993 Constitution reversed the traditional federal division of legislative powers by allocating enumerated powers to the provinces.

Keywords: 1993 interim constitution; international political culture; post-cold war constitutionalism; postcolonial collage; South Africa; state reconstruction



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