The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: Arab Constitutionalism: The Coming Revolution, Zaid Al-Ali

Arab Constitutionalism: The Coming Revolution

Zaid Al-Ali

After the 2011 uprisings started in Tunisia and swept across the Arab region, more than a dozen countries amended their constitutions, the greatest concentration of constitutional reform processes since the end of the Cold War. This book provides a detailed account and analysis of all of these developments. Individual accounts are provided of eight different reform processes (including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Sudan), with particular focus on the historical context, the political dynamics, the particular process that each country followed and the substantive outcome. Zaid Al-Ali deconstructs the popular demands that were made in 2011 and translates them into a series of specific actions that would have led to freer societies and a better functioning state. A revolution did not take place in 2011, but it is inevitably part of the region's future and Arab Constitutionalism explores what that revolution could look like.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publish Date: May 11st, 2023
  • Pages: 331
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.69in - 0.98lb
  • EAN: 9781108453271
  • Categories: ComparativeConstitutional

About the Author

Al-Ali, Zaid: - Zaid Al-Ali is the Senior Adviser in Constitution-Building in the Arab Region for International IDEA. He has law three law degrees from Harvard Law School, the Sorbonne University, and King's College London. He has been practicing international commercial arbitration since 1999 and has been advising on constitutional drafting in Arab countries since 2005.

Praise for this book

'Al-Ali has written the most comprehensive and sophisticated account on post-Arab Spring constitutionalism in the Middle East. In his valuable book, Al-Ali charts constitutional reforms across eight Arab cases. In remarkable detail, Al-Ali captures the debates, processes, and actual modifications of the constitutional reform efforts across these states. While advancements were made, Al-Ali argues that these constitutional changes did not match the revolutionary citizen demands of the Arab Spring.' Amaney A. Jamal, Dean, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
'In 'Arab Constitutionalism', Zaid Al-Ali has written the definitive analysis of the key constitutional developments in the Middle East and North Africa since mass protests demanding social justice and change swept the region a decade ago. Analytically rigorous and probing, 'Arab Constitutionalism' convincingly cuts through the politics and history of constitutional discourse to remind us all that what is missing is a focus on the individual and the individual's place in state and society. In his account, constitutions should have as their purpose to create the environment that would allow for individuals in all our countries to thrive. His book should be required reading for anyone involved in governance reform in this part of the world and further afield.' Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq
'This book is a tour-de-force by a scholar who combines the best of constitutional scholarship with a strong knowledge of, and commitment to, constitutional development in the Arab region. It not only provides an important mapping of constitutional developments post the so-called 'Arab Spring', against their historical constitutional background, importantly it sets in sets out clear parameters for any future Arab constitutional project. Zaid Al-Ali, brings strong intellect and scholarship together with a history of engagement in many of the processes that he writes about. The book is a must-read for constitutional students and scholars globally, and for those who remain engaged with constitutional reform projects in the region.' Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Edinburgh
'Zaid Al-Ali's book is an urgently needed survey on the constitutional reforms following the so-called Arab Spring in 2011 in eight Arab countries. But it is more than that: It also describes why the constitutional reforms did not meet the popular expectations and how a true constitutional revolution would look like.' Dieter Grimm, Former Justice, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, Professor of Constitutional Law, Humboldt University Berlin
'A constitutional law handbook for democratic states' building, yet to succeed with or without revolutions in the Arab middle east and north Africa, a region plagued with many institutional and social deficits. Zaid Al-Ali's book 'rab constitutionalism: The Coming Revolution' is not limited to a well-researched timely description of the failed or less failed revolutions in many countries of that region, but an exciting prospective set of recommendations, based on a deep knowledge of that region and of the aspirations of its diverse people. A must read for all those interested in challenging thoughts and action.' Ghassan Moukheiber, Lawyer and former member of the Lebanese Parliament
'Zaid Al-Ali demonstrates that the constitutions that were drafted following the Arab Spring excluded one fundamental actor: the people. By his account, the approach to constitution making-and even the confused and confusing transitional roadmaps which preceded or followed, manifested a wary distrust of democracy and a fear that in the last instance the popular will would amount to a blunt religious fundamentalism, on this basis, a revolutionary moment was missed. However, more positively, Al Ali rightly suggests, a rerun is inevitable. In this case, he argues that debates surrounding Arab constitutions should focus on the individual, and sets out a set of proposals which countries in the region should seriously consider. The strength of Zaid Al Ali's scholarship is that it combines the sharp insight of a scholar, and the urgency of an observer who was at the front line.' Nicholas Haysom, United Nations, Special Representative to South Sudan, Former Special Representative to Somalia and Afghanistan, Former legal adviser to President Nelson Mandela
'This is a much welcome addition to serious studies of the Middle East and North Africa. Focused on constitutional reform in several countries of the region, the book looks at an important aspect of transitional politics. It is a must read for those who care about freedom and social justice in the Arab region and want to assess the role of constitutions and constitutional processes in protracted transitions.' Noha el-Mikawy, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa, Ford Foundation
'It has been a decade since the 2011 Arab uprisings and, while those for the most part ended tragically, the fight for change is far from over. Zaid Al-Ali's book offers one avenue for where it should go next. Al-Ali reminds us of the opportunities that constitutional negotiations present and of the risks and challenges that they carry. In the many countries that experienced popular uprisings in 2011, constitutional negotiations were regarded as being one element of an effort to keep the peace between major political blocks, and more often than not those negotiations descended into violence. This book should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the reasons behind the conflict in countries such as Libya, Yemen and Syria - and, more importantly, for anyone determined to prevent conflict in emerging democracies.' Rob Malley, United States Special Representative for Iran, Former President and CEO of the International Crisis Group
'For a decade, Zaid Al-Ali has had a front row seat to the most turbulent period of constitutional reform the Arab world has ever seen. We could have no better a terrific guide to understanding the successes, as well as the seldom-examined failures, of constitution-making in the region. This volume will be an essential resource for any scholar of comparative constitutions.' Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago