Constitution-Making in Tanzania: The Undoing of a Country?

November, 2014
IDA document: D-5374
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Intelligence Analyses Division , Global Dynamics and Intelligence Division
Stephanie M. Burchard See more authors
Tanzania’s recent experience rewriting its constitution, and specifically the drama and acrimony that has accompanied this process, could prove a catalyst for unrest before the country's 2015 general elections, which promise to be the most competitive in Tanzanian history. To provide background, this article reviews the recent history of constitution-making in Tanzania; addresses the sometimes troubled union between Tanzania and Zanzibar; and compares Tanzania’s constitution-making process with Kenya’s in the mid-2000s. The article concludes that although little international attention is being paid to this process, any sign of electoral malfeasance (intentional or not) could provide the spark that leads to widespread violence and instability.