Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance

Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance

Book Pages: 656 Illustrations: Published: February 1997

European Studies > Eastern Europe and Russia, Law, Politics > Political Science

With the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, newly formed governments throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states have created constitutions that provide legal frameworks for the transition to free markets and democracy. In Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance, Rett R. Ludwikowski offers a comparative study of constitution-making in progress and provides insight into the complex political and social circumstances that are shaping its present and future. The first study of these recent constitutional developments, this book also provides an appendix of all newly ratified constitutions in the region, an essential new reference source for scholars, students, and professionals.
Beginning with a review of the constitutional traditions of Eastern and Central Europe, Ludwikowski goes on to offer analysis of the recent process of political change in the region. A second section focuses specifically on the the new constitutions and such issues as the selection of the form of government, concepts of divisions of power, unicameralism vs. bicameralism, the flexibility or rigidity of constitutions as working documents, and the process of reviewing the constitutionality of laws. Individual states as framed in these documents are analyzed in economic, political, and cultural terms. Although it is too soon to fully consider the implementation of these constitutions, special attention is devoted to the effect of reform on human rights protection, a notorious problem of continuing concern in the region. A final section offers an insightful comparative study of constitutional law by reviewing the post-Soviet process of constitution-making against the backdrop of Western constitutional traditions.
Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance is both a comprehensive study of constitutional developments in the former Soviet bloc and a primary reference tool for scholars of constitutional law, and Eastern European and post-Soviet studies.


“Ludwikowski was one of many Western academics who sought to help the new states map out the constitutional coordinates for the journey to democratic societies and market economies. His book is a product of his experience, and a response to the renewed scholarly interest in constitution-drafting.” — Robert Sharlet, Russian Review

“After the unprecedented changes in Eastern Europe in the fall of 1989 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, it is finally time for a cool, scientific analysis of those processes. Specialists in the field will welcome Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance as a breakthrough.” — Michal Chorosnicki, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

“Comprehensive in scope, Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance combines an historical account of constitutional developments preceding, during, and after the communist era with a comparative constitutional analysis of recent developments in the former communist states. It affords readers quick access and easy reference to the important constitutional developments in the former Soviet empire.” — Michel Rosenfeld, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University


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Rett R. Ludwikowski is Professor of Law and Director of the Comparative and International Law Institute at the Catholic University of America School of Law.

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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1802-6
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