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Constitutional Design



[BSc] PSc, ID

Admission Requirements

Students should enroll in this course after completing Decision-making processes and/or Introduction to Comparative Politics and/or Introduction to Development. Completion of Quantitative Research Methods is recommended but not required. Interested Students should contact instructor for permission to enter the course without prerequisites as motivation, enthusiasm or particular interest may constitute sufficient admission requirements.


This course is a pre-graduate seminar in the foundations of constitutional design, with a focus on designing constitutions for stability, controlling conflict, and policy responsiveness/representation – particularly with regard to economic policies. The course will begin by discussing what constitutions are and what they do before turning to examining research on specific constitutional features and designs. Some attention will be given to the politics by which constitutions are actually created.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the importance and challenges of constitutional and institutional design more broadly.

  • Further refine the student’s understanding of institutional rules and how they affect behavior more broadly.

  • Refine formal analytical reasoning skills.

Mode of Instruction

Guided discussion, graduate seminar style discussion of research papers, organized debates.


To be confirmed in course syllabus.


The instructor will distribute a book list once students enroll in the course.

Contact Information

Dr. Brandon Zicha.

Weekly Overview

Week 1: Foundations of Constitutions and Institutional Design
Week 2: Electoral Systems,Representation and Public Policy
Week 3: Governing Institutions and Public Policy
Week 4: Federalism and Consociationalism
Week 5: Constitutions and Economic Management
Week 6: Constitutions and Conflict
Week 7: Challenges of writing constitutions
Week 8: Final research paper

Preparation for first session

The instructor will notify all students that successfully enroll about preparation for first session of the course.