CCAPS is happy to announce that this project's research has now been published as Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa: Preventing Civil War through Institutional Design (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

The environmental, economic, and social stresses triggered by climate change may test the institutional capacity of African governments. Yet little systematic, comparative research has been done in Africa to determine which domestic political institutions produce the best outcomes under which conditions.

To address this gap in the literature, CCAPS leads a project on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management (CDCM) in Africa, bringing together seven of world's preeminent scholars in the field. Each expert examines a major African country to determine how past climate-related and other shocks have been mediated by domestic political institutions. The case studies seek to provide concrete insights into which governmental structures offer the best hope of mitigating the social stresses that may result from climate change. Countries under study include Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. In addition, CDCM has created the first ever database of comparative constitutional design throughout the continent. The project aims to pinpoint African countries that are especially vulnerable to political instability and to identify the political institutions that the U.S. government should promote through its democracy and governance aid programs "“ to minimize the security consequences and human suffering that could result from climate change in Africa.

The CDCM team is led by Dr. Alan J. Kuperman, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Eliezer Poupko serves as the Graduate Research Assistant on the project. Dr. Kuperman supervises the case studies by seven leading scholars:

  • Justin O. Frosini, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
  • Gilbert Khadiagala, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Eghosa E. Osaghae, Igbinedion University, Nigeria
  • Andrew Reynolds, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
  • Filip Reyntjens, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham, UK
  • I. William Zartman, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Contributing to the project is a prestigious team of academics and practitioners, who help design the research methodology and critique the works in progress:

  • Joel Barkan, University of Iowa, USA
  • Cathy Boone, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Herman J. Cohen, Assistant Secretary of State (Ret.), USA
  • Gordon Crawford, University of Leeds, UK
  • Abdelwahab El-Effendi, University of Westminster, UK
  • Zachary Elkins, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Pierre Englebert, Pomona College, USA
  • Bernard Grofman, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • Christof Hartmann, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Donald Horowitz, Duke University, USA
  • Rene LeMarchand, University of Florida, USA
  • Carl LeVan, American University, USA
  • Peter Lewis, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • H. Kwasi Prempeh, Seton Hall University, USA
  • Mohamed Salih, Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands
  • Michael Schatzberg, University of Wisconsin, USA
  • Tim Sisk, University of Denver, USA
  • Lahra Smith, Georgetown University, USA
  • Nicolas Van de Walle, Cornell University, USA
  • Jennifer Widner, Princeton University, USA


Symposium on Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa
October 16, 2015
Austin, Texas

  • Six panelists discussed new research published in the book, Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa: Preventing Civil War Through Institutional Design, edited by Dr. Alan Kuperman.

Conference on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management in Africa
November 15, 2011
Austin, Texas

  • Leadings scholars discussed their findings on how political institutions mediate climate-related and other shocks in Africa during an all-day conference on constitutional design and conflict management.

Case Studies Workshop
May 27, 2011
Antwerp, Belgium

  • Eight authors, complemented by eight expert discussants, gathered to discuss early drafts of the CDCM case studies, as well as an overview of constitutional design across Africa.

Planning Meeting: Constitutional Design and Conflict Management
June 30, 2010
Washington, DC

  • Seven authors and five outside experts met for a full day to formulate the scope, methods, and cases to be examined by the CDCM project.