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Political Change in the Middle East and North AfricaAfter the Arab Spring$
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Inmaculada Szmolka

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415286

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415286.001.0001

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Constitutional reform processes

Constitutional reform processes

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter 5 Constitutional reform processes
Source:
Political Change in the Middle East and North Africa
Author(s):

Ewa K. Strzelecka

María Angustias Parejo

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415286.003.0006

This chapter analyses the constitutional reform processes that have taken place in the MENA countries since the social uprisings in 2011. The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the constitutional reform processes in order to offer key insights into these processes and to propose a typology of the dynamics of constitutional reform, and its scope in the MENA region. The aspects for analysis include procedures, consensus and dissent during the course of the constitutional process, and the content of the constitutional reforms. The emphasis is placed on the most important elements of the processes of constitutional change and of the content of the new constitutions, while paying particular attention to aspects related with the power of heads of state, the most frequently-debated reforms and the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. The authors conclude that constitutional processes are relevant, but not determinant for democratic change, with the exception of Tunisia. The scope of the constitutional amendments has been limited and has perpetuated the dominance of the authoritarian rulers. Many of the constitutional reforms after the Arab Spring have been the product of strategies for survival by the respective regimes and were promoted ‘top-down’ through a process that, in many countries, excluded the revolutionary movements and opposition groups that were not loyal to the regime.

Keywords:   Political change, MENA countries, New constitutions, Constitutional processes, Typology of constitutional change, Power relationships, Constitutional debates, Gender equality and women’s rights

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