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Research Chair in Constitutional Design for Divided Societies

The Research Chair in Constitutional Design for Divided Societies, one of the chairs established by the University of the Western Cape in 2022, focuses on investigating the relevance and effectiveness of constitutional design in the management of divided societies, societies that are grappling with identity-based political tensions and conflicts. The ethnic conflict in Ethiopia, the challenges of political transition in Sudan and the ongoing conflict in Somalia and South Sudan has brought forth the challenges of governance in divided societies. In Europe, uncertainties loom large on the territorial integrity of countries like Spain and the United Kingdom as they grapple with the nationalistic claims of groups and territories. The chair seeks to identify constitution-based institutions and examines their relevance and effectiveness in promoting the peaceful management of divided societies. This corresponds with both national and international priorities and strategic initiatives. Chapter three of the National Development Planning is dedicated to moving South Africa from its era of divisions towards an era of national unity. Goal 16 of SDG calls for the promotion of ‘peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development’, the provision of ‘access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’.