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Annual Review of Constitution-Building Processes: 2015

Each year, International IDEA’s Annual Review of Constitution-Building Processes provides a retrospective of constitutional transitions around the world, the issues that drive them, and their implications for national and international politics. Falling between the instant reactions of the online blogosphere and the academic analyses that follow several years later, these reviews provide an account of ongoing political transitions, the major constitutional issues they give rise to, and the impacts of these processes on democracy, the rule of law and peace.

This year’s Annual Review features chapters organized by region or subregion. There has been a growing similarity in constitutional forms around the world over the past three decades, in particular in the embrace of bills of rights in general, and in the particular rights included in constitutional texts (Law and Versteeg 2012). However, the regional context can often provide important layers of understanding about why constitutional designers may make certain choices, and the influences that affect both processes of constitutional change and the practical operation of constitutional texts. The contributors to this year’s Annual Review were asked to identify regional commonalities that not only tie together the processes of constitutional reform taking place in neighbouring countries, but also represent relevant contextual aspects that help explain the forces and mechanisms driving constitutional change in each region.

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