Google's ConstituteProject.org: Compiling World's Constitutions; 'Because You're Not Using nor Following Yours'-EditionSubmitted by AnCapMercenary on Tue, 09/24/2013 - 07:22
Google Ideas supported the Comparative Constitutions Project to build Constitute, a new site that digitizes and makes searchable the world's constitutions. Constitute enables people to browse and search constitutions via curated and tagged topics, as well as by country and year. The Comparative Constitutions Project cataloged and tagged nearly 350 themes, so people can easily find and compare specific constitutional material. This ranges from the fairly general, such as "Citizenship" and "Foreign Policy," to the very specific, such as "Suffrage and turnouts" and "Judicial Autonomy and Power."
By Russell Brandom on September 23, 2013 11:40 am @russellbrandom
The process of drafting a constitution is usually long, intricate and politically fraught — but with 160 different active constitutions to draw from, it's also uniquely amenable to data analysis. With that in mind, Google has partnered with the Comparative Constitutions Project to launch a new site called Constitute, devoted to comparing the world's constitutions. It examines nearly 350 constitutional themes, organized into topics like the duties of a citizen and the role of the executive. The result is a comprehensive view of how countries structure their governments, and a powerful tool for any would-be founders. As one co-founder put it, "If want to see what African constitutions have to say about the rights of women after 1945, you can do that in just a few clicks."
"Our aim is to arm drafters with a better tool for constitution design and writing," Google said in a post accompanying the launch. That's a niche audience, to put it mildly, but it's also an important one. In 2013 so far, Zimbabwe has already voted on a new constitution, and 2012 saw both Somalia and Syria adopt new founding documents, along with nearly half a dozen revisions from other countries. The hope is that, if Constitute can influence the next generation of constitutions and give citizens a greater sense of ownership over the documents, it could have a huge impact in years to come.