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Contents

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

I began working on this book in 1995 under a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), but had to set it aside when I be came the coordinator of a major study of legal protection of rights under the constitutions of sixteen African countries. That project was organized by the International Center for the Legal Protection of Human Rights...

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1. Toward an Inclusive Theory of Constitutionalism

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pp. 1-30

Available evidence regarding the constitutional experiences of most African countries indicates repeated failure or at least a protracted crisis. I will argue in this book that these experiences can and should be seen as part of processes of incremental success. As explained later, the notion of incremental success indicates the accumulation of experiences that...

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2. Elements of African Constitutionalism

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pp. 31-62

In speaking of "African constitutionalism" throughout this book, I am neither implying that there is a specific type of constitutionalism that is peculiarly African, nor suggesting that the experience or feature I am discussing is true or applicable for the whole continent. In particular,the elements of precolonial and colonial experiences to be highlighted...

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3. Evaluating Experience in Incremental Success

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pp. 63-98

As already indicated, the deeply contextual and incremental approach to African constitutionalism proposed here does not mean that the experiences of each country cannot be evaluated or improved, or that one has to wait for that to happen entirely on its own. Far from taking a fatalistic or deterministic view of the process, the object is to understand the...

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4. The Contingent Role of Islam

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pp. 99-131

In this chapter I introduce and try to clarify the notion of contingency as a possible framework for mediating tensions between traditional understandings of Islam, on the one hand, and modern principles of constitutionalism, on the other. This framework can contribute to facilitating the development of constitutionalism by enhancing its cultural and...

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5. Islam and Constitutionalism in Sudan, Nigeria, and Senegal

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pp. 132-159

In this chapter, I attempt to illustrate the contingency of the role of Islam with reference to certain aspects of the recent constitutional experiences of Sudan, Nigeria, and Senegal. While I have argued that evaluation of constitutional experiences should always be context specific, it is also part of my thesis that African countries can learn from the...

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6. Conclusions: Sustainable Constitutionalism Through Practice

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pp. 160-186

Constitutionalism can be viewed from a variety of perspectives, as a historical or sociological phenomenon, philosophical concept or desirable or practical political and legal system. It can be approached through the prism of certain core ideas such as the limitation of the powers of government, rule of law, or sovereignty. This concept can also be understood...

References

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pp. 187-194

Index

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pp. 195-199