International IDEA: Intensive Fellowship for Constitution Makers

Intensive Fellowship for Constitution Makers

February 27 – March 24 2017

The Hague, the Netherlands

Call for Applications

International IDEA:

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance  –  International IDEA  –  is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its vision and objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes, and be the lead actor in democracy building worldwide. International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building by providing knowledge resources, by facilitating dialogue to support democratic change, and by partnering in reform efforts at the country,  regional  and  global level. International IDEA works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies, as well as with regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA’s key impact areas are:  electoral processes; political parties, participation, and representation; constitution-building processes; and democracy and development. These four areas are mainstreamed by three cross-cutting topics: gender, diversity, and conflict and security. International IDEA works worldwide. It has headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and has offices in Brussels, The Hague, New York, as well as in Latin America, Africa and Asia. 

International  IDEA develops, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in it s key areas of expertise. In addition to its network of leading academic experts, International IDEA sources comparative  knowledge through the direct  experiences  of  practitioners  who have  lived through democratic transitions. While International  IDEA strongly believes there can be no “one-size-fits-all” approach  to  democratic  transitions,  lessons learned from  the experiences of  those  in comparative contexts can  provide  valuable  guidance  to actors  engaged  in democratic  transitions  in their own country.

The International IDEA Constitution Building Programme: 

The International IDEA  constitution building programme was established in 2006 and is now widely recognized as a thought leader in the provision of comparative knowledge and technical assistance for constitution building processes. The scope of the programme includes examining constitutional  design,  the  process  through which  constitutions  are made,  and  indeed  how process affects design.

Activities of the constitution building programme include comparative knowledge publications, expert  workshops and seminars,  in-country  technical  assistance,  policy advocacy  in  the international  arena,  and  the management  of ConstitutionNet,  an  online  information sharing platform for the global constitution building community.The constitution building programme is based in the City of The Hague, in the Netherlands.

Intensive Fellowship for Constitution Makers:

The constitution building programme regularly interacts with individuals who have led, or have been crucial members of, constitution making bodies all over the world. These individuals have experiences  and  knowledge  which could  be  of high  value  to  those  leading constitutional transitions in other countries, but rarely have the time to write down the lessons learned, crucial challenges and solutions,  and key considerations to successful constitution building. While International  IDEA regularly  invites  these  individuals  to  expert  workshops and  in-country technical assistance activities, first-person written accounts of constitution building remain rare.

In  this  regard,  International  IDEA  is  pleased  to announce  an  intensive  Fellowship  for Constitution Makers to take place  at  the  Constitution  Building Programme Facility  in  the Netherlands over four weeks in February-March 2017.The objective of the Fellowship Programme  is to bring together four individuals who have been involved in constitution building processes to discuss, debate and write on their experiences. The expected outputs for the Fellowship are case studies of each process as well as comparative papers on issues which were relevant to each participant’s experience.The Fellows will work under the direction of Professor Tom Ginsburg of the University of Chicago  and  with the  collaboration of  the International  IDEA  Constitution  Building Programme. The four fellows, Professor Ginsburg and the International IDEA staff will form the “Fellowship Group”.

The Fellowship will be structured to include the following elements:

-  Detailed and structured briefings for the Fellowship Group of the cases at hand

-  Regular discussions among the Fellowship Group of issues selected for thematic papers

-  Regular  discussions  among  the  Fellows  and International  IDEA  staff  regarding feedback on IDEA projects and publications

-  Ongoing coaching and guidance from Fellowship Director Professor Tom Ginsburg

-  An average of 20 hours per week of research and writing

-  Public seminars for invited guests and partners from other Hague-based institutions, and

-  Guided cultural visits to the International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice, Parliament of the Netherlands and local museums. 

International  IDEA  will  provide  a  stipend  for  the duration  of  the  course,  as  well  as  coveraccommodation expenses  in  The  Hague  in  a  private,  central  residence and  travel  expenses (economy class) to/from The Hague.

Criteria for Selection:

1.  Individuals must have had recent experience within a constitution making body. This includes  constituent assembly and  constitutional  convention  members, constitutional commissioners,  members  of  parliament which  implemented major  constitutional reforms, and senior staff (Directors) of secretariats of these bodies. 

2.  Fluent spoken English and working-level written English is essential. 

3.  Demonstrated  ability to speak authoritatively on the details of  the constitution making process.

Applicants will be selected by the constitution building programme in conjunction with the programme’s senior technical advisors. Consideration will be given to geographic and gender balance where possible. Preference will be given to candidates from Africa, Latin America, the Arab Region, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Eastern Europe.

To Apply:

Please submit the following documents via email to  before  31 March 2016:

-         Professional Resume, with detailed explanation of role in constitutional transitions

-         Short cover letter (2-4 pages) explaining your motivation in applying for the Fellowship for Constitution Makers, including issues which arose in your own experience which you would like to include in your writing briefs.