IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iob/wpaper/2011005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The African Union, constitutionalism and power-sharing

Author

Listed:
  • Vandeginste, Stef

Abstract

Over the past decade, the African Union (AU) had put in place an important normative framework to promote constitutional rule and, in particular, orderly constitutional transfers of power in its member states. Through its Peace and Security Council (PSC), the AU has actively opposed, including through the use of sanctions, unconstitutional changes of government. As a key element of its policy, the PSC systematically advocates a return to constitutional order as a remedy for unconstitutional changes of government. Free and fair elections are an important element in the PSC policy of legitimating a new constitutional and political order. However, while opposing unconstitutional means of obtaining or transferring power, the AU has been generally supportive of the use of power-sharing agreements as an instrument of negotiated conflict settlement. Most power-sharing agreements are not in accordance with the prevailing constitutional order and, as part of a larger peace agreement, often contain new constitutional blueprints. This dual policy of, on the one hand, opposing certain types of unconstitutional changes of government, in particular military coups, and, on the other, advocating power-sharing agreements in the absence of a regulatory framework or normative guidance on such agreements poses an obvious challenge for the consistency of AU policy. Insofar as the AU wishes to nurture a culture of constitutionalism in its member states, it might benefit from developing policy guidelines about how to enhance the legitimacy of a new constitutional order - and of the political regime exercising political authority – be it in the aftermath of a coup or as a result of power-sharing.

Suggested Citation

  • Vandeginste, Stef, 2011. "The African Union, constitutionalism and power-sharing," IOB Working Papers 2011.05, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2011005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.uantwerpen.be/images/uantwerpen/container2143/files/Publications/WP/2011/05-vandeginste.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2011005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Hans De Backer). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iobuabe.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.