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Constitutions are generally made by people with no previous experience in constitution making. The assistance they receive from outsiders is often less useful than it may appear. The most pertinent foreign experience may reside in distant countries, whose lessons are unknown or inaccessible. Moreover, although constitutions are intended to endure, they are often products of the particular crisis that forced their creation. Drafters are usually heavily affected by a desire to avoid repeating unpleasant historical experiences or to emulate what seem to be successful constitutional models. Theirs is a heavily constrained environment, made even more so by distrust and dissensus if the constitution follows a protracted period of internal conflict. Given all these conditions, drafting a constitution that is apt for the problems faced by the drafters is difficult, and prospects are not enhanced by advice that drafters follow a uniform constitutional process that emphasizes openness and public participation above all other values.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Constitutional law, Constitutions, Democracy, Comparative government