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Paths to Democracy: An International Conversation About Constitutional Stories

Sponsored by Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington
and the IU Center for the Study of Global Change
September 25-27, 2007

Countries walk different paths to constitutional democracy, but most tell profoundly important stories about those journeys. The stories help citizens understand the meaning of their own history, identity, and collective existence. They identify shared values, foster civic trust, affirm common worth, and foreshadow a livable future.

Constitutions sometimes occupy special roles in these stories: some stories offer an account of how the constitution came into being as a founding myth for the country; other stories explain the meaning of the constitution itself; and often the constitution functions as a collective narrative about the national experience. Sometimes, citizens of one country agree on one dominant story, but frequently, they disagree. And often, even though different countries tell distinct stories, they share common themes, ideas, and even narrative structures.

During this unique multidisciplinary conference, hosted jointly by Indiana Law's Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies and the IU Center for the Study of Global Change, distinguished constitutionalists representing six countries (Spain, South Africa, Burma, Liberia, Mexico, and Kyrgyzstan) come together to consider the dynamic processes of constitutional narrative.

Open Event

September 27, 2007
10:30 a.m.–noon
Moot Court Room (123)
Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington
211 South Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana

We invite you to join us for a public event following an initial day of constitutional storytelling. Conference participants will discuss the divergent national narratives as well as common themes across the constitutional stories. The audience will be invited to ask questions or offer comments on the presentations.

Two participants from each country will consider and elucidate their nation's path to constitutional democracy and the role the constitution played in this process; they will explore the moral and cultural values and institutions that are implied, exemplified, or questioned in their stories; they will discuss the lessons their stories offer to citizens and officeholders; they will examine the roles of nationalism and identity; they will look at how the stories relate to each other and provide guidance for the challenges of constitutional democracy; and they will clarify the contested areas of the stories and the sources of potential conflict and disagreement.

Story Presenters

Along with the following constitutional storytellers, additional participants will take part in the conversation.

Robert Agranoff
Agranoff is professor emeritus in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University—Bloomington, and since 1990, he has been affiliated with the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid. He is co-author of Collaborative Public Management: New Strategies for Local Governments, which earned the 2003 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration and author of a recent book, Managing Within Networks (Georgetown University Press). Agranoff has published many articles and book chapters on Spanish constitutionalism, federalism, and intergovernmental relations, including a recently completed book manuscript on local governments under Spain's federal arrangements. He has also taught at Complutense University-Madrid, University of the Basque Country–Bilbao and Autonoma University–Barcelona.
Penelope Andrews
Andrews is a visiting professor at Valparaiso University School of Law, on leave from the City University of New York School of Law. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she received BA and LLB degrees from the University of Natal in Durban. She worked at the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg before pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University, where she received her LLM. Before her appointment as a Chamberlain Fellow in Legislation at Columbia Law School, Andrews worked with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York. She taught anti-discrimination law and policy and aboriginal law in Melbourne, Australia prior to joining the faculty at CUNY. She has written extensively on human rights issues in the South African and Australian contexts, and appears frequently on panels addressing issues of international human rights, women, and racial minorities. She is a contributing co-author of The Post-Apartheid Constitutions: Reflections on South Africa's Basic Law (Ohio University Press 2001).
Jallah Barbu
Barbu graduated at the top of his class from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Liberia. He is a counselor-at-law and member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Liberia. He served as managing counsel for a law firm in Liberia until his election as general secretary of the Liberian National Bar Association. Barbu has participated in the drafting of several statutes in Liberia and is credited with heading two drafting committees: one which drafted the act on freedom of information and the press and one which drafted the mediation law which is currently under review by the legislature. At Indiana Law, hee is pursuing an LLM in constitutional law. He also serves as a fellow with the Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies.
Gabriela Delgado Ballesteros
Ballesteros is vice director of the psychology faculty of the National University of Mexico where she is a researcher at the University and Education Research Institute. She has held policy positions as the head of the Institute for Women of the Government of Mexico City; the head of the Social Programs for Women and Children Women of Mexico City; a Gender and Education Counsellor for the National Program for Women; and a UNICEF gender advisor. She has served as an official representative of Mexico to several international conferences on women, including a conference in Beijing. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Not So Strong, Neither Weak (UNICEF, PRONAM 1998) and Gender and Feminism Studies (UNAM Fontamara 1993).
Gustavo Gordillo de Anda
In Mexico, Anda has been a practitioner, academician, politician, and policymaker. He is co-founder of La Union Nacional de Organizaciones Regionales Campesinas Autonomas, a network of 75 rural organizations. For some 15 years, he was a technical advisor to credit unions, agriculture insurance funds and rural housing programmes with both cooperatives and municipal governments. As a policymaker, Anda has been Deputy Secretary for Rural Policies and Concertation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and Under-Secretary for the Agrarian Organization and Development in the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. He joined the United Nations' FAO in 1995 as a director of the rural development division and was later based in Santiago, Chile, where he was assistant director-general and FAO regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2006, he was executive coordinator of the campaign committee for Mexican presidential candidate Patricia Mercado. He holds a Doctorat de troisieme cycle in development economics from the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes, in Paris. Anda has authored more than 20 books and 80 articles and has been a visiting scholar of the IU Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis since 2006.
Gulnara Iskakova
Iskakova is an associate professor at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). She headed the AUCA law department for six years after its establishment, building new a curriculum, expanding the faculty, and developing a new type of legal education in Kyrgyzstan. She received her PhD in Jurisprudence from Kazakh National University and her LLM from Duke University Law School. She is the author of numerous publications on presidential and parliamentary power sharing; on mechanisms required to establish the solid framework of rule of law in the country; and on the influences of electoral systems. She also actively participates in designing revisions to Kyrgyzstan's national Constitution and to the Election Code as part of governmental—and sometimes oppositional—working groups. In 1997, Iskakova was a Fulbright scholar at Indiana Law.
Emilbek Dzhuraev
Dzhuraev received his BA degree from the American University in Kyrgyzstan and his MA in political science from Indiana University. Between 2002 and 2006, he taught various courses on politics at the American University of Central Asia, where he also chaired the department of international and comparative politics. Most recently, he served as the deputy director of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. This fall, he joins the University of Maryland graduate program in government and politics to pursue a doctoral degree. He has been a frequent contributor to the public discussion of politics in Kyrgyzstan and on issues of good citizenship, democracy, identity, and political development.
Ngun Cung "Andrew" Lian
Lian is a former revolutionary soldier resisting the military regime of Burma. He received a Burmese Refugee Scholarship from the United States Information Agency and earned his BA in international economics and cultural affairs from Valparaiso University in 1999 and his LLM from the Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington in 2002. He has been a James J. Robinson Fellow for Graduate Legal Studies; an Earl Snyder Visiting Scholar at Lauterpatch Research Center for International Law at University of Cambridge; and a summer visiting fellow at Solomon Asch Center for Studies of Ethnopolitical Conflict at University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a research fellow with the IU Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies. He also serves as a member of the Technical Advisory Team of the Federal Constitution Drafting and Coordinating Committee and as a legal consultant to the Chin Human Right Organization. He is currently completing a dissertation, "Ethnopolitical Conflict, Constitutional Crisis, and Federalism Discords in Contemporary Burma" to complete his SJD.
Negbalee Warner
Warner is a Liberian political and social activist who has held several positions in the student and youth communities of Liberia. He has a BS with honors in economics and an LLB with honors from the University of Liberia Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, and an LLM from Cornell Law School. He is currently a practicing lawyer with the law firm of Pierre Tweh & Associates in Monrovia, Liberia, and a member of the Liberian National Bar, the New York Bar, and the Liberian Supreme Court Bar.
Marinus Wiechers
Wiechers is a professor emeritus and former rector of the University of South Africa. He was a member of the legal team that helped draft the Interim Constitution for South Africa.
David C. Williams
Williams is the John S. Hastings Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies at Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington. He clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit and taught at Cornell Law School before relocating to IU in 1991. Williams has written widely on constitutional design, Native American law, the constitutional treatment of difference, and the relationship between constitutionalism and political violence. He is the author of The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment: Taming Political Violence in a Constitutional Republic (Yale University Press 2003). He is a constitutional advisor to the Federal Constitution Drafting Coordinating Committee of the Burmese democratic movement and to all of the state constitution drafting committees.
Joseba Zulaika
Zulaika is a cultural anthropologist and author of a dozen books on Basque politics and culture, including Basque Violence: Metaphor and Sacrament (Univ. of Nevada 1988) and, with William Douglass, Terror and Taboo (Routledge 1996). His most recent publications are ETA's Ashes (Alberdania 2007) and, with Anna Maria Guasch, Learning from the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum (Akal 2007). He is a researcher at the University of Nevada Center for Basque Studies in Reno, Nev.

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