Week Nine: Constitution Makers on Constitution Making

     Since I finished my section of the oligarchy project last week, I began working on a smaller, short-term project this week. I have been reading chapters from Constitution Makers on Constitution Making: The Experience of Eight Nations. The book was based on a conference attended by constitution makers from eight different countries. These people gathered together and spoke about the constitution making process in their nation, including the reasons why a new or revised constitution was needed, how members of the constitution making team were chosen, and what contentious issues the committees had to resolve to agree on a final document. Using the information that these people shared, the authors compiled a book that can be used by current constitution makers as a reference for how to resolve problems during their own constitution building processes. Using these chapters, I have been creating brief summaries of the discussions that the participants had about their countries. Sumit will use these summaries as a resource in February, when six constitution makers are going to travel to The Hague to complete a month-long workshop with IDEA.

     I also attended another team planning meeting this week. I am grateful that I have been able to attend these meetings as they help me to get a glimpse into the work that IDEA does beyond the few projects that I am assisting with this summer. During this week's meeting, my coworkers discussed the remodel of the office that is set to begin next month. It was somewhat strange to listen to a conversation about something that will not even begin until after I have left. It was a sharp reminder of how little time remains until my internship ends.

     On Saturday, I traveled to Amsterdam to pick up my friend at the airport, since it was his first time in Europe and I didn't want him to get lost right out of the gate. We then spent the day exploring the city. We even went full-tourist and took one of the canal tours, which made for some interesting photography shots. Then, on Sunday, we took the train to Brussels, Belgium with the plan of spending the day eating chocolate and waffles. The city did not disappoint as there are approximately 100 chocolate shops per square kilometer in the center of the city.

I start my second to last week of work on Monday (and the following week I only work for two days before my flight home). So here's to learning as much as I can before I return to the U.S.


Some of the famous row houses in Amsterdam