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State, Society and Economy: Perspectives on African Constitutions

Maccabaean Lecture in Jurisprudence, delivered by Professor Yash Ghai FBA, 1 October 2015(venue: The British Academy).

Over a hundred and thirty years ago Africa was carved up by European powers, and colonial constitutions replaced traditional modes of governance. On independence, about 75 years later, African states acquired new constitutions--the antithesis of the colonial constitution. Independence constitutions did not last long, replaced by either military rule or one party constitution. The end of the Cold War heralded a new era of democracy. The lecture explored the reciprocal influences of state, society and economy, and constitutions. It considered whether there are some distinct African features of these constitutions.

About the speaker:
Yash Ghai, a Kenyan, taught law at in various countries, starting his career at University of East Africa (1963), and ending at University of Hong Kong (2006). In between he helped several countries to make their constitutions, often mediating between warring factions. Currently he is a director of the Katiba Institute in Kenya, a civil society organisation dedicated to the implementation of the 2010 Constitution.

More about the Maccabaean Lectures in Jurisprudence

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