ECCL-IDEA Dialogue: “Understanding the Interactions between Elections and Constitutions in Fragile and Conflict-Affected State Transitions”

3-4 December 2017

In December 2017, Tom Gerald Daly attended the Fourth Workshop of the ‘Post-Conflict Constitution Building’ Series. The workshop was the a collaboration between the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (ECCL), of which Tom is Associate Director, and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). The workshops, which bring together leading global scholars and practitioners in constitution-building, began in December 2014 and have been held annually since then. Additional collaborators are  now involved: the 2017 Workshop was organised in association with the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) of the University of Edinburgh.

The ‘Fourth Edinburgh Dialogue’ focused on the interactions between elections and constitutions after conflict. In particular, the participants discussed the type and timing of elections after conflict, and before/after the adoption of the new constitutional framework, in the quest for both a legitimate political framework and sustainable peace.

This workshop follows the policy paper resulting from the ‘Second Edinburgh Dialogue’ on “Sequencing Peace Agreements and Constitutions in the Political Settlement Process.” In this paper the authors identified four sequencing patterns leading to the final (or fundamentally amended) constitution. These sequencing patterns will be used to structure the different workshop panels. Elections had been purposely left out of that policy paper, as the authors focused on the sequencing pattern of political agreements after conflict.