A Theory of African Constitutionalism

ISBN : 9780192893925

Berihun Adugna Gebeye
272 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
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A Theory of African Constitutionalism ask and seeks to answer why we need a new theoretical framework for African constitutionalism and how this could offer us better theoretical and practical tools with which to understand, improve, and assess African constitutionalism on its own terms. By locating constitutional studies in Africa within the experiences, interactions, and contestations of power and governance beginning in precolonial times, the book presents the development and transformation of African constitutional systems across time and place, along with the attendant constitutional designs and practices ranging from the nature and operation of the African state to its vertical and horizontal government structures, to its constitutional rights regime. This title offers both a theoretically and comparatively rich, historically and contextually informed, and temporally and spatially extensive account of the nature, travails, and incremental successes of African constitutionalism with detailed case studies from Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa. A Theory of African Constitutionalism provides scholars, policymakers, governments, and constitution builders in Africa and beyond with new insights for reimagining the purpose, substance, and scope of constitutions and constitutionalism.


Part I Theory
1 Legal Syncretism as a Theoretical Framework for African Constitutionalism
2 The Transformation of African Constitutionalism
3 The Design and Practice of African Constitutionalism
Part II Case Studies
4 Federalism
5 The Executive
6 Women's Constitutional Rights
Part III Future Application
7 The Future of African Constitutional Design and Practice

About the author: 

Berihun Adugna Gebeye is a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. Previously, he has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Gottingen and held visiting fellowships at Columbia Law School and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford. He taught comparative constitutional law and politics at the Central European University, University of Yangon, and the University of Gottingen. He holds degrees in law, human rights, and comparative constitutional law, and has extensively published in these fields with a focus on Africa.

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