Military Constitutionalism in Post Colonial States

Today, there is a growing interest in constitutionalism in authoritarian and hybrid regimes. Yet there is little consideration of how the organization of power in colonial constitutions shapes the configuration of authority in post-colonial hybrid constitutions. This paper studies the military as a constitutional actor in post-colonial tutelary regimes. Myanmar and Pakistan make an ideal comparative study, since both are former British colonies, where the military has assumed a tutelary role in the constitutional orders, but this role has taken different forms in the two states. In this paper, I explain the ways in which colonial constitutions and their underlying rationales, shaped the post-colonial separation and distribution of power between elected and unelected institutions and the form of the military’s tutelary role. By tracing the colonial origins of post-colonial hybrid constitutions, I seek to bring empire into the study of authoritarian and hybrid constitutionalism today.