Munich Personal RePEc Archive

South Asian Economic Constitutionalism: A Path to Constitutional Order

Malhotra, Manjunathan and Bhagwan, Sumitra and Shaturaev, Jakhongir (2023): South Asian Economic Constitutionalism: A Path to Constitutional Order. Forthcoming in: International Modern Law Review , Vol. 3, No. 9 : pp. 1-11.

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South Asia is a region of diverse post-colonial countries that are undergoing significant constitutional and socioeconomic change. Constitutional law scholars have taken an interest in South Asian constitutionalism and how the region is addressing its unstable democratic systems. In recent years, South Asian states have amended or replaced their constitutions and forms of governance. Two recent crises, the 2021 Taliban offensive in Afghanistan and the 2022 Sri Lankan political crisis, highlight the importance of economic governance and the role of accountable government in the market. Despite constitutional structures for economic governance and the establishment of government institutions, South Asian states are witnessing the weakening of institutional mechanisms and the delegitimization of the rule of law. This paper argues that South Asian states need to develop practices that focus on accountable constitutional governance of the economy and strengthening financial institutions. While South Asian constitutions have traditionally kept economic actions by the state outside the purview of judicial and public scrutiny, the lack of accountability and the cynical manipulation of economic institutions by authoritarian leaders raises questions about the constitutional limits of the power of elected leaders. The paper explores how strengthening the pillars of economic constitutionalism can lead to the creation of a stable constitutional order in South Asia.

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