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Title: Constitution-Making and State-Building: Redefining the Palestinian Nation
Authors: Khalil, Asem
Keywords: Constitutional law - Palestine;Palestine - Politics and government;State , The
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Source: Khalil, Asem. “Constitution-Making and State-Building: Redefining the Palestinian Nation.” In: Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity, Rainer Grote and Tilmann Röder (eds.). pp.583-596, Oxford University Press, 2012.
Abstract: In modern times, the “constitution” is considered to be the most appropriate legal instrument to perpetuate a political compromise between entities, groups, and individuals composing the state. It intends to guarantee the respect of this “social contract” to which individuals and groups adhere, in order to stop reclaiming rights through violence but rather to obtain them through law. Thus, a modern constitution is often conceived as the last act of a revolution.1 In the Palestinian context, drafting a constitution is not a result of statehood but rather part of the package of preconditions for achieving it. In other words, creating a new state, if not by the use of force—thus by imposition, needs now to be merited. The Palestinian case proves the relevance and dangers of dealing with this approach to constitutions and statehood. In order to have their own state, Palestinians must prove to the international community that they are serious about liberal democracy and free market policy. They furthermore need to prove their willingness and seriousness about reform; in other words, they have to merit their state, which is no more considered as part of their right to self-determination
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