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Constitutions Don’t Make Revolutions, Revolutions Make Constitutions

Renown PanAfricanist academic and constitutional lawyer, Prof. Issa G Shivji reflects on the trajectory of constitution-making in Africa. He makes the compelling argument that while we need constitutions, they don’t make revolutions. Revolutions make constitutions. No constitution envisages its own death for that is what a revolution entails. But constitutions matter. Some of the finest constitutions have been erected on ugly socio-economic formations wrought with extreme inequalities and inequities. South Africa and Kenya are examples. He further explains that radical lawyers must recognise the limits of bourgeois law and constitutions because, by its very nature, law individualises collective demands thus fragmenting social struggles and undermining solidarity.