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Title: Constitution-making, constitutional conventions and conflict resolution: lesson drawing for Cyprus
Authors: Mendez, Fernando 
Triga, Vasiliki 
Keywords: Conflict resolution;Constitutional conventions
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Routledge
Source: Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 2009, volume 11, issue 4, pages 363-380
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the analysis of the proposal for a constitutional convention for Cyprus1 as a potential conflict resolution mechanism. Like many concepts in the social sciences, the concept of a constitutional convention is a fuzzy construct. Despite this, we argue that the concept can still serve as useful analytical heuristic for examining a variety of constitution-making options that are pertinent to the conflict. In putting forward our argument we shall devote most of our attention to what we call the operational procedures of constitution-making—one of which is a constitutional convention. In addition, we shall take an expansive view of a constitutional convention that is concerned with inter alia implementing a new or modified constitutional regime. However, we shall also mention cases of constitutional transformation where the convention process has been specifically avoided. This will help us to establish analytical boundaries to the convention method. To aid us in our analytical efforts we will draw on the discipline of comparative politics to examine varying procedural mechanisms that have been used at foundational or transformational constitutional moments, many of which have resulted in power-sharing arrangements as mechanisms of conflict resolution in divided societies. We begin in the next section by putting forward a conceptual framework for analysing the constitution-making process according to a number of dimensions. In the third section we undertake a closer examination of the constitutional convention method and its operational procedures with the aid of some celebrated historical cases. In the fourth section we present the results of a comparative analysis of over 100 cases according to a two-dimensional model. This then sets the scene for a closer look at the case of Cyprus in fifth section. By way of conclusion we offer some speculations on the feasibility of a constitutional convention for Cyprus.
ISSN: 19448953 (print)
DOI: 10.1080/19448950903381982
Rights: Copyright Taylor & Francis
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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