Constitution-making is often integral to achieving a new political settlement after conflict and in fragile settings. However, the process fails with relative frequency, in that actors cannot agree on a new text or the finalized text is not approved or ratified. While failure may be temporary—the process may resume after a period of time—it can also be costly. Key reforms may depend on the adoption of a new or revised constitution, and in its absence negotiations may stall and conflict recur.
This Paper starts a conversation about the potential grounds for, and strategies to prevent or build on, failure. It was developed following the Ninth Edinburgh Dialogue on Post-Conflict Constitution-Building held in September 2022.
1. How to think about failure
2. What are some of the factors that may lead to failure?
3. Building on failure and preparing for failure: Lessons learned