The Contradictions of Constitution-Making in Nigeria
Constitution-making is a popular but poorly understood concept. There are many speculations about the impact of different design processes on constitutional outcomes. Much of the debate reduces to the question of who is involved in the process and for what intent? We consider two central issues in this regard. The first is the problem of institutional self-dealing, or whether governmental organs that have something to gain from the constitutional outcome should be involved in the process. The second deals with the impact of public involvement in the process. Both of these concerns have clear normative implications and both are amenable to straightforward social scientific analysis. This study surveys the relevant research on constitution-making, describes the conceptual issues involved in understanding constitution-making, reviews some claims regarding the process of constitution-making, and presents a set of baseline empirical results from a new set of data on the content and process of constitution-making.
Key Words: Constitution, Constituent assembly, Parliament, Sovereign power, General will, Liberty, Adult suffrage, Democracy, Referendum, Enactment, Supremacy, Justiciability, Mandate, Political equality.
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