William and Mary Law School

What I DO

When I tell people that I am doing research on the Constitutional Building Processes of various countries around the world, I realize that I have no clue what I am talking about. The actual description of my job is the worst way to describe what I am doing. Yes, those words say what I do but they do not really tell the whole story.

A little background is necessary for this to make any sense. International IDEA has a website called ConstitutionNet.org, which is a knowledge gathering website on various constitutional processes around the world. On that website are articles submitted by academics from around the world, but also in-house created content. The in-house content aims to give people a better understanding of the various constitutional crisis and processes around the world. Part of the in-house content is the virtual library. On the VL are countries profiles of areas that have recently underwent constitutional reform and/or have well-established constitution. 

At this point is where my day-to-day duties intersect with ConstitutionNet. It is my job to create new profiles (Liberia, USA, Germany, France, Fiji) and update profiles (Egypt, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Libya). It has been interesting analyzing the constitutional structures of these countries and the challenges that they face.

More exciting then that still is my master project for the summer. This summer I am to write an article for publication through ConstitutionNet, or if I am unbelievably awesome IDEA's mean website. My paper was originally on the constitutional process of Liberia but finding resources on that proved difficult.  Now my paper will be "a comparative analysis of the universal problems that face all countries that take on a constitutional reform”. This will take up the majority of my summer. I have other duties, but the paper and the profiles will take up most of my summer.