The Architecture of Emergency Constitutions

Reprint No. 2018:60

Author(s): Christian Bjørnskov and Stefan VoigtYear: 2018 Title: International Journal of Constitutional Law Volume (No.): 12 (1) Pages: 101–127
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Nine of ten countries currently have emergency provisions written into their constitutions, here simply referred to as emergency constitutions. The nature of these provisions remains poorly understood. We therefore aim at providing answers to two questions: (i) how much additional discretionary power do emergency constitutions allow and which political actors are given the additional power; and (ii) is there a limited number of “typical” emergency constitutions that combine various aspects in similar or even identical fashion? To answer the first question we construct an Indicator of Emergency Powers (INEP) which takes six central elements of emergency provisions explicitly into account. To answer the second question, we draw on cluster analysis and identify six well-defined clusters. Both the INEP as well as the six clusters allow us to answer important follow-up questions such as what the factors are that determine a country’s choice of emergency constitution but also under what conditions governments are likely to declare a state of emergency given the prevalent emergency constitution.

Bjørnskov, Christian and Stefan Voigt (2018), "The Architecture of Emergency Constitutions". International Journal of Constitutional Law 12(1), 101–127.

Christian Bjørnskov


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

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