Constitutionalism in Developing Countries:
It is very difficult to suggest the precise feature of the concept of constitutionalism in poor and backward countries of the Afro-Asian world that have recently emerged as sovereign nation-states and are struggling hard for achieving the ideal of a social welfare state.
It appears that they are between the poles imitating the system of some European country under which they remained for a sufficiently long period of colonial domination on the one hand and going for a better and more workable system having much of the indigenous elements coupled with something of the socialist systems of the world on the other.
It is also found that several developing countries are experimenting with the imported constitutional arrangements and trying to establish a synthesis between the ideals of the liberal democratic constitutional state on the one side and the demands and aspirations of the people on the other.
It is for this reason that countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh (also be found involved in alternating from parliamentary to Presidential systems and vice versa.)
Constitutionalism in Post-colonial countries, as Carl Freidrich says “became a factor of considerable importance” because constitutionalism in post-colonial countries was symbolic; it was a symbol of their newly acquired independence.
Only few of them followed Marxist paradigm, most of them went for liberal values of US and UK because of the fact that:
1. The political orientations of the political elites of post colonial countries towards liberal values, most of whom were educated in liberal western tradition. They thought that constitutionalism can be a means for political modernization.
2. Most of the newly independent countries were familiar with liberal political institutions.
3. They inherited an administrative structure from their western colonial rulers so it was pragmatic to make use of it.
4. Political elites had a liking for civic and political rights.
5. Geographical vastness/cultural plurality— Federalism (liberal definition of federalism).
6. Liberal constitutionalism was only an alternative to anarchy or Authoritarianism in the opinion of political elites.
7. Liberal constitutionalism provides an opportunity to downtrodden to join the ranks of elites.
Most of the post-colonial countries imported the institutions and ideas, which in most of the cases was away from the political reality (Theory and practice). So, in most of the post-colonial countries constitutionalism do not express the practical reality.
Constitutions of most of the colonial countries are nominal constitutions because they do not express the political reality.
A nominal constitution is a blue print:
a. formally accepted
b. legally valid, but
c. Not fully effective.
He says that there are certain normative constitutions also formally accepted, legally valid and fully effective.
No constitution can be 100% normative. A normative constitution is only relatively normative.