Politics. Boring, right? Well, probably not so much when Google is involved. Google Ideas, the part of the search giant involved in addressing big, people-centric problems, teamed up with the Comparative Constitutions Project to build Constitute, a new site that digitises the world’s constitutions.
Why? Having access to the rules that govern countries are important for educating nations, but they hold special significance to those tasked with revising and drafting entirely new constitutions — especially post-conflict. Google says that every year, approximately five new constitutions are written, and 20 to 30 are amended or revised. Special mention is made of Africa’s evolving political landscape, hosting 19 out of the 39 constitutions written globally since 2000.
Until now, there hasn’t been a central repository for constitutions. Constitute allows people to browse constitutions via curated and 350 tagged topics, as well as by country and year. It’s pretty powerful.
“If you are writing a constitution, and want to know what African constitutions have to say about the rights of women, after 1945, you can do that in just a few clicks,” says Google Ideas associate, Brendan Ballou.
Thinking about future generations and the trajectory of rising nations, it’s comforting to know that constitution drafters will have access to the entire world’s governing rules, creating opportunities for positive outcomes.