Mechanisms for Resolving Divisive Issues in Constitutional Negotiations

“Mechanisms for Resolving Divisive Issues in Constitutional Negotiations” (2010) Interpeace Working Paper Series (with N. Haysom).

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Constitution making is a divisive process, and it must be so. In any healthy constitutional negotiation, issues will be brought to the table on which the interests of the negotiating parties diverge. Parties to constitutional negotiations are thus faced with the challenge of developing a final document in which each group within the nation can take pride and ownership, even though with respect to many divisive issues that group will not have obtained what it wanted. There can be no fool-proof algorithms for resolving divisive issues to achieve this end, but there are mechanisms with which every negotiation process should be equipped. This paper addresses mechanisms for resolving divisive issues in constitutional negotiations.