Diogenes 53 (4):9 - 17 (2006)

Abstract
The constitutions of the decolonized new nations were marked by the process of the devolution of power. This process had an impact on the agenda setting and arena setting embedded in these constitutions. ‘Agenda’ refers to the conduct of political affairs and ‘arena’ to the delimitation of the powers of Parliament, the design of constituencies, etc. As a special feature, federalism was introduced by several constitutions. It emerged as a device for the gradual devolution of power. In some instances it proved to be a permanent asset (India), in others it was contested (Nigeria) or rejected (Rhodesia). None of the new constitutions contained adequate provisions for the civilian control of the armed forces. The armed forces were simply taken for granted and their potential political role disregarded. But in many new nations political power was soon usurped by the armed forces and constitutional government was suspended
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DOI 10.1177/0392192106070341
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