Constitutional reform processes within a particular country are often about responding to broad challenges of peace building, reconciliation, inclusion and socio-economic development in a way that is seen as legitimate and is widely accepted.

As the demands placed on constitutions have increased, they have become complex and lengthy, and hence more challenging to design and implement. The stakes are often high in constitutional reform processes themselves, with vested interests and national divisions in play.

This publication provides a set of guiding principles for constitutional reform based on practical experiences of constitutional reform processes in Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

While the primary focus of the publication is on the role of political parties in constitution-building processes, the publication is also of relevance to other actors involved in similar processes. It presents an overview of common phases, characteristics, challenges and guiding principles that can be customized to country-specific contexts


Publication date
02 May 2012
Martin van Vliet, Winluck Wahiu, Augustine Magolowondo
Number of pages
Netherlands Institute for MultiParty Democracy, Africa Studies Centre
978-90-79089-14-7 (Print)





1. Constitutional reforms and guiding principles

2. Constitutional reforms in democratization

3. Constitutional reform and political parties

4. Constitutional reform in practice: Case studies

5. Constitutional reform in phases

Constitutions available on the internet


Further reading


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Constitutional Reform Processes and Political Parties: Principles for Practice

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