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Post Sovereign Constitution MakingLearning and Legitimacy$
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Andrew Arato

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755982.001.0001

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Conventions, Constituent Assemblies, and Round Tables

Conventions, Constituent Assemblies, and Round Tables

The Principles of Legitimacy of Democratic Constitution Making

(p.107) 3 Conventions, Constituent Assemblies, and Round Tables
Post Sovereign Constitution Making

Andrew Arato

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the round-table form of the new paradigm of constitution making and argues that it is an authentic democratic form of constitution making, to be placed side by side with the convention pioneered in the United States, and the constituent assembly made classical if not actually invented in France. It uses the developments in South Africa during the early 1990s as an example of how the round table helped propagate change. The 1990s saw the nation abolish racial apartheid. This brought along significant changes such as the holding of the first democratic election, the making of two constitutions, and the formation of a multi-party negotiating forum or round table, constitutional assembly, and constitutional court. The chapter also uses other similar examples and contends that the new paradigm can be the key to solving the inevitable legitimacy problems of reform and revolution.

Keywords:   round table, constitution making, convention, constituent assembly, South Africa, 1990s, racial apartheid, democratic election, reform, revolution

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