Et historisk perspektiv på autokratiske grunnlover: Funksjon og innhold i den egyptiske 1971-grunnloven og den syriske 1973-grunnloven
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Autocratic constitutions have long been understood by academics as merely worthless pieces of paper, made to fool the population under the dictator’s rule. Others have suggested that autocratic constitutions are primarily a source of legitimacy. Both reasons, of course, must be apparent to the population, as the promises made in these constitutions often do not bear fruits. Why then, do these dictators put so much effort into writing countless new constitutions? What functions can the autocratic constitution have, and for whom are they made? This thesis aims to better understand the functions behind the autocratic constitution, particularly by focusing on the Egyptian constitution of 1971, and the Syrian constitution of 1973. The goal is to understand the functions of these constitutions, by methodologically focusing on comparing the individual constitution with its predecessor, and the two constitutions with each other. Differences in the content of the constitutions are of course also important, as these enable further understanding of function. This thesis found, that even though the content of the two constitutions is very alike, the functions used in the constitutions varied. By categorizing these functions, one can see tendencies of political development that would happen in both Syria and Egypt in the years following the constitutions. It was found that the Egyptian constitution was primarily aimed at liberal and Islamic groups in Egypt, and that it also showed early signs of the coming alignment with the USA. The Syrian constitution was on the other hand written for socialist groupings within Syria, with some small concessions made to the liberal Sunni Muslim middleclass. The findings were then verified with actual historical development, and the validity of the receiver measured by using other function groups as measuring tools. By increasing our understanding on the 1971 and 1973 constitutions of Egypt and Syria, our general knowledge of all autocratic constitutions will improve also. This is the essence of this thesis.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
- History 398
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