27 January 2014

CONFERENCE: Post-Arab Spring Constitutionalism: Revolution, Retrenchment or Renovation?

DATE: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
TIME: 12:45 PM - 2:00 PM

LOCATION: World Bank Headquarters, MC 6-100

Live Stream Option: If you cannot join us in person please connect virtually via live stream by entering as a guest user at the following link: http://thehivefcv.adobeconnect.com/arabspring/  

Debates over constitutional design are now at the very heart of political life across the Arab region. In this talk, Professor Choudhry will discuss three modest propositions about constitutional transitions in general, and in the Arab region, in particular, that reflect what we have learned over the past few years: (a) political inclusion produces constitutional stability; (b) constitutions are social contracts among the people as a whole and pacts among political elites; (c) new democracies face the risk of democratic authoritarianism that we should be alert to now; (d) constitutions are devices not only for democratic transition, but also political co-optation.

Sujit Choudhry is the founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions at the NYU School of Law (Constitutional Transitions), the world’s first university-based center that generates and mobilizes knowledge in support of constitutional building.

Professor Choudhry is an internationally recognized authority on comparative constitutional law and comparative constitutional development. His work addresses basic methodological questions in comparative constitutional law. He has also written on constitutional design as a tool to manage the transition from violent conflict to peaceful democratic politics, especially in ethnically divided societies, and is currently studying constitutional design in the context of transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule. He has published over seventy articles, book chapters, working papers and reports. His edited collections include Constitutional Design for Divided Societies: Integration or Accommodation (Oxford, 2008) and The Migration of Constitutional Ideas (Cambridge, 2006). He sits on the Board of Editors of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, is a member of the Editorial Board of the Constitutional Court Review (South Africa), and is on the Board of Advisers for the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law. 
Professor Choudhry is a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster and has been a consultant to the World Bank Institute at the World Bank. He has worked as a foreign constitutional expert in support of constitutional transitions in Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Tunisia (with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance), Nepal (with the United Nations Development Program and the Nepal Bar Association), and Sri Lanka (with the Forum of Federations and the Center for Policy Alternatives). 
Professor Choudhry holds law degrees from Oxford, Toronto, and Harvard, was a Rhodes Scholar, served as law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada, and was a Graduate Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Ethics and the Professions.

CHAIR: Sidi M. Boubasacr, Chief Counsel, MiddleEast and North Africa, World Bank 
PRESENTER: Sujit Choudhry, Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Constitutional Transitions, NYU School of Law
DISCUSSANT: Guenter Heidenhof, Sector Manager, PREM, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank

For information:
Jacqueline Gichinga
Senior International Program Associate

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