Federalism, Secession, and External Support for Conflict Constitution-Making

In the past 25 years, over 70 countries have adopted or amended their constitution in the context of an armed conflict or a conflict resolution process. Increasingly, such foundational changes are made with active support from external actors, such as intergovernmental organizations or foreign states. This article explains how patterns of external support for conflict-related constitution-writing influences substantive constitutional outcomes, with a specific focus on decisions about federalism and territorial secession. Leveraging a new dataset on the involvement of external actors in conflict related constitutional design, it demonstrates that increased external involvement in constitutional processes, particularly involvement from both greater numbers of international organizations and of foreign states with federal systems, is associated with a greater likelihood of adoption of new federal arrangements in the constitution, or significant changes to the existing structures.