The recent processes of constitutionalisation in the Southern bank of the Mediterranean Sea have had legal, political and social consequences of remarkable relevance.

At the centre of the debate surrounding these dynamics is the quest for a balance between the needs of a laic and modern State and the role played by the religious authority in inspiring how the State itself is to function.

This relationship has immediate economic, social and cultural consequences on a variety of topics, among which is the religion’s normative push in contemporary Arab society, the role of women in society, the protection of fundamental human rights, civil/military relations, the normative reform of election processes and State decentralization, and power relations among the different functions of the government.

Going through the often ignited debate that has accompanied the drafting of their Constitutional Charters, senior adviser on constitutional building for International IDEA Zaid Al-Ali will offer a unique and analytical vision of the processes outlined above.