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Fantasy constitutions

Forest land and forced dispossession

Anand Vaidya

's Constitution. The Bhim Army positions itself in Ambedkar's tradition, as an organization that acts upon the analyses and principles that he laid down, including the Constitution. The Army's young leader Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, who like Ambedkar trained as

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“Where Is the New Constitution?”

Public Protest and Community-Building in Post–Economic Collapse Iceland

Timothy Heffernan

before. In this context, protesters demanded the resignation of the government, the organization of new elections, and the rewriting of the constitution ( Pálsson and Durrenberger 2015 ). In early 2009, after months of protests, the government finally

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Egalitarian Liberalism, Distributive Justice and the New Constitutionalism

David Bilchitz

These modern constitutions that have been adopted largely in the Global South enshrine a set of divergent values and rights that embrace both political philosophical concerns relating to liberty as well as distributive equality. This article seeks to grapple with the approach to distributive justice that can best give expression to the multiple normative commitments of these constitutions as well as key institutional features thereof. I argue for these societies to adopt what I term a two-tier theory of distributive justice: these theories require a set pattern or threshold to be achieved in a certain domain but also allow for a tolerable variation in resource distribution in another domain. I seek to show how two of the foremost egalitarian liberal theories of distributive justice – that of Ronald Dworkin and John Rawls – exemplify this structure as well as the resources they have to address the problems thereof. I then argue that a two-tier structure of a theory of distributive justice can help explain and reconcile key features of these modern constitutions. In particular, I shall seek to show the manner in which such theories conform to understandings of the role of a constitution, and the importance of preserving space for democratic decision-making. At the same time, two-tier theories assist in delineating the appropriate role constitutional courts should play in addressing the distribution of economic resources in society. These theories also have important implications for the role of the state and markets. Such a structure, I shall conclude, gives effect to a particular conception of equality as well as liberty and so manages to reconcile these two normative values.

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Herr or Hüter of the Constitution?

The First Fifty Years in the History of the German Federal Constitutional Court

Manfred H. Wiegandt

Basic Law ( Grundgesetz ), what West Germany’s “provisional” constitution was called to indicate that a real constitution for a reunited Germany would come at some point in the future, was a reaction to the perceived shortcomings of the Weimar Republic

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Yet Another Failed Attempt to Reform the Italian Constitution

Carlo Fusaro

On 4 December 2016, a large majority of Italian voters turned down the most comprehensive and cohesive attempt to revise significant parts of the Constitution since 1948, namely, to overcome the country’s symmetrical bicameralism, to establish new state-region relations, and to streamline institutions, in part by abolishing the provinces and the National Council for Economics and Labor. This chapter offers an outline of the reform, which had been boldly approved by Parliament, and places it within its political and institutional context. It identifies the changes that the reform was set to introduce, attempts to assess the effects it would have had if it had been passed in the referendum, and considers some of the consequences of its rejection.

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General Lucius Clay, German Politicians, and the Great Crisis during the Making of West Germany's Constitution

Marjorie Lamberti

This article examines the complex interplay between the American military governor and German political leaders through an analysis of two crises that occurred over the making of the Basic Law. Why did a trial of strength between General Lucius Clay and the Social Democratic Party leadership in March and April 1949 come about? Understanding Clay's intervention in the politics of constitution-making in occupied Germany requires a more probing investigation than references to the temperament of a “proconsul” or a bias against a left-wing party. The analysis of Clay's intervention in this account shows how the Social Democrats evaded and challenged directives from the occupation authorities, and illuminates the limits of his influence over German framers of the Basic Law.

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Dirty laundry. Everyday practice, sensory engagement and the constitution of identity

Sarah Pink

I always use … some sort of softener, and even when they've been in the tumble dryer I do like that smell, but I do like it when they've been on the line … [although] I don't like ironing them so much when they've been on the line … I've fetched some [laundry] in today when I got in from work, and they've obviously been out there all day and they were all stiff and got more creases in, whereas when they're in the tumble dryer it's a doddle really. If you just catch them in time and they're just so easy to iron. Yes, I do like my clothes to smell nice. I definitely think about the feel of them though … once I've ironed them they feel better … (Helen, part‐time company director and housewife, age 32)

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Cloth on her Head, Constitution in Hand: Germany’s Headscarf Debates and the Cultural Politics of Difference

Beverly Weber

As the current debates about the headscarf in Germany and France

demonstrate, “Islamic” veils and headscarves garner attention for

minority women in Europe to an unparalleled degree.2 For centuries,

Islamic veils and headscarves have served as powerful symbols in

Orientalist discourse, functioning as markers of the Oriental woman’s

supposed eroticism as well as convenient tropes for philosophers.3

Recent kidnappers’ demands in Iraq that France lift its headscarf ban

demonstrate the complex appropriations of Muslim women for fundamentalist

discourses as well.

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Comment l'esprit va au mort. De la constitution des principes de la personne jusqu’à leur agencement post mortem


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Contested Memory

Retrieving the Africanist (Liberatory) Conception of Non-racialism

Ndumiso Dladla

the liberation movement. Non-racialism in the ‘New’ South Africa In the years following the negotiated settlement of the early 1990s and especially since the adoption of the new constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereinafter