We the People(s)?: Conflict-Related Constitutions and Conflict (non) Recurrence

Is constitution-making associated with armed conflict recurrence or non-recurrence? In the past 25 years, over 60 countries have adopted a new constitution or significantly amended their constitution during an armed conflict or as part of a peace process. Such changes can elevate conflict mitigation and compromises between political groups into supreme law – or entrench sources of tension. This article explains how the creation of a post-conflict constitution (PCC) and international support of this process, can potentially influence conflict recurrence or non-recurrence. Leveraging data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the Comparative Constitutions Project, and a new dataset, it hypothesizes that conflicts with PCCs will be more likely not to experience recurrence than those without PCCs, and that the inclusion of specific types of changes to the structure of the state – such as new federal structures or decentralization – will be associated with conflict non-recurrence.