Fixing Haiti

MINUSTAH and Beyond

image of Fixing Haiti
References to the land of the black Jacobins are almost always followed by the phrase the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”. To that distinction, on 12 January 2010, Haiti added another, when it was hit by a devastating natural disaster, a 7.0 Richter scale earthquake. Since 2004, the United Nations has been in Haiti through MINUSTAH in an ambitious attempt to help Haiti raise itself by its bootstraps. This effort has now acquired additional urgency. Is Haiti a failed state? Does it deserve a Marshall-planlike programme? What will it take to address the Haitian predicament? In this book, some of the world’s leading experts on Haiti examine the challenges faced by the first black republic, the tasks undertaken by the United Nations, and the new role of hemispheric players like Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as that of Canada, France and the United States.



The legacy of the 1987 constitution: Reform or renewal?

The 1987 constitution is the last of a series during two centuries of Haitian national history. From the first one issued in May 1805, one year after the 1804 independence celebration, to today, 22 different constitutions have seen the light of day, with durations ranging from 10 months (1888) to 29 years (1889). Haiti has a long history of developing and negotiating its democratic credentials (see Kretchik, 2007). The Haitian constitutions laid the foundations for distinct normative layers which give rise to a unique situation. In this chapter two approaches are combined to examine the legacy of Haiti’s constitutions: an exegetic one, which places each constitution in its political and sociological context, and an historical one, which regards them as successive and different steps in the search for the best and most appropriate instrument.


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