Summary and Info
This collection is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of constitutional politics and constitution-making in the Middle East. The historical background and setting are fully explored in two substantial essays placing the contemporary experience in the contexts, respectively, of the ancient Middle Eastern legal and political tradition, and of the 19th- and 20th-century legal codification and political modernization. These are followed by a general analysis of the treatment of human rights in relation to Islam in Middle Eastern constitutions, as well as a comparative scrutiny of the process of constitution-making in Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with reference to the available constitutional theories. Additional essays are country-by-country case studies of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with the case of Iran being covered as a special point of reference. Other contributions examine the making and subsequent transformation of the Turkish Constitution of 1982 against current theories of constitutional and deliberative democracy, as well as the institutional mechanism for protecting the ideological foundations of the Turkish Republic, most notably the Turkish Constitutional Court which offers a surprising parallel to the Iranian Council of Guardians. Constitutional Politics in the Middle East examines this long road to political reconstruction, drawing general analytical lessons from, and showing the consequences of, the origins of the constitutions of Turkey and Iran in revolutions, and of Afghanistan and Iraq in war and foreign invasion. Adding valuable insight into how political systems are constructed and reformed, this important and topical book will be of interest to Middle East scholars, policy specialists, political scientists, and those concerned with constitutional studies.