Nation-building through Constitutionalism

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Tengku Ahmad Hazri

Abstract

States face the challenge of balancing their roles as both strong and limited—i.e. strong because the people depend on them for their shared identity, purpose and direction, yet limited in order to ensure the rights and liberties of those people are safeguarded. Nation-building projects have the tendency to compromise on human rights and fundamental liberties, not least because the very idea of a “shared identity” often involves the marginalisation of other histories—or “historical amnesia” as it has been called—as the emphasis is placed on shared history.

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