The fourth Session of the Arab Association’s Constitutional Law Academy

Theme:The Role of Social Constituencies in Constitution-Making


The fourth Session of the Arab Association’s Constitutional Law Academy

Tunis, Tunisia, 26 November- 07 December 2017

Theme: “the Role of Social Constituencies in Constitution-Making”

Deadline for Application: 10 October 2018

Call available in Arabic here


The Arab Association of Constitutional Law and International IDEA, with the support of the University of Legal and Political Sciences of Tunisia, announce the fourth edition of the Arab Association’s Constitutional Academy. The Academy is part of an effort to encourage a dynamic, continuous, and in-depth exchange of ideas within a new generation of scholars in the Arab region. Participants who are admitted to the Academy are required to identify trends in constitution-making across the region, and examine both how new constitutions were negotiated and drafted, and the ways they have been implemented. The Academy’s participants engage with each other on a selected number of substantive areas and provide the opportunity to explore whether possible solutions to their common problems exist. The Academy’s participants will be selected according to a competitive process (see below).

The Academy Proceedings

Academy participants will spend two weeks in Tunis, Tunisia.  During that period, they will work together to produce a number of joint policy papers on a specific and predetermined substantive areas (see below). Academy participants will work according to a research program and will be assisted by leading Tunisian, Arab and international scholars who will follow and contribute to their work on an ongoing basis.  

The Papers

Academy participants will be required to produce joint papers in Arabic. The papers will be published online and/or in the Arab Association of Constitutional Law’s printed publications.  The papers must:

  1. Be critical and analytical. A purely descriptive and superficial approach will not be accepted;
  2. Be comparative in their approach. The papers must consider multiple constitutional systems from the Arab region, and must also consider multiple systems external to the region;
  3. Go beyond the constitutional text and consider implementation issues.  

The Research Question

Academy participants will be required to research and publish a policy paper on “The Role of Social Constituencies in Constitution-Making”.  This will include focus on the following issues:

  1. What was the role of social movements in shaping Arab constitutions? Was this role subject to restrictions? What differences exist, if any, between the role that social movements played throughout the region? Assuming such differences exists, what are its causes and justifications?
  2. Post-2011, can social movements satisfy popular demands for their participation in constitution-making?
  3. To what extent are the guarantees that social movements have to participate in constitutional reforms in Arab countries consistent with the guarantees that exist in developed countries and in international conventions and treaties?
  4. What influence do social movements have in ensuring that constitutions establish their right to participate in designing public policies?
  5. What was the orientation of the role of social movements in the elaboration of constitutions? Did these movements support the public and facilitate the expression of popular demands to public authorities?  Did their actions encourage decision-makers to adopt the demands of the people in constitutions?  Did social movements play a role in communicating policies to the broader public with a view to building support for state institutions and political groups? 

Logistics, Expenses and Fees

All of the Academy participants’ travel, accommodation and living expenses will be covered by the Arab Association of Constitutional Law. In addition, each Academy participant will be paid USD 1,500 honorarium upon completion of the research project, in Arabic, and approval of the Academy’s scientific committee.

Requirements and Application Deadline

The Academy welcomes applications from around the world. Applicants must at least have a master degree in law or political science or in a related field. The participants will be selected according to a competitive process. Interested candidates are required to submit an application no later than 10 October 2018. Applications must be sent to and

by the application deadline.  Applications should include the following:

  • An up to date version of the applicant’s CV;
  • A 1,000-word proposal describing the manner in which the applicant would approach the research question while in residence at the Academy, and the importance of the proposed project within the context of the applicant’s own past work (if relevant) and other scholarly work;
  • A writing sample (which must be in Arabic);
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Please note that the Arab Association of Constitutional Law will only respond to short listed applicants.