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2006 Lawasia J. 227 (2006)
The Relationship between Economic Transition and Constitutional Government: The Experience of the Republic of Maldives

handle is hein.journals/lawasiaj7 and id is 233 raw text is: Economic Transition & Constitutional Government: Republic of Maldives
Athaulla A Rasheed*
The present study describes the relationship between the institutional arrangement of a
state and its economy with a view to explaining the situations of developing countries,
notably the Maldives. In the light of economic theories introduced and developed by
both theorists of economics and law, it could be said that the economic situation of a
state has a significant impact on its constitutional government.
The constitutional government of a state determines how the institutions set out by its
constitution will operate. The human society that forms an economy will gradually
change as technology advances and, eventually, the constitutional government will also
have to change to accommodate the new values and rights that have been introduced to
the society.
The Maldives is a developing country currently undergoing political, economic and
institutional changes. During the past two decades, the Maldives has undergone much
economic progress without the associated developments in its political and legal
structures. The country is in the process of developing its political and legal framework
by introducing democratic amendments to its present constitutional government and we
can see that these changes to institutional arrangements have been driven by economics.
Economic changes have brought about political changes.
This paper examines the nature of the constitutional government of the Maldives
using an economic approach. The main purpose of the paper is to demonstrate
that the constitutional government of the Maldives is in an evolving state and
that the country's economy is responsible for the changes which are occuring.
The constitutional government represents the way in which a state establishes
and maintains its political order under rule of law.' There are different
institutions in a state, responsible for sustaining political stability as well as
achieving 'individual freedom, economic growth and social progress'2 in that
state. The constitutional government reflects on the operation of these
institutions. One of the main institutions is the formal Constitution. These
institutions shape human interactions in a society and they 'structure incentives
in human exchange, whether political, social or economic. Institutional change
Master of Applied Law graduate from The University of Queensland, Australia. The author
would like to thank Anthony Somers Vine for his kind assistance during the editing process
of this article.
1      Suri Ratnapala, 'Securing Constitutional Government: The Perpetual Challenge' (2003)
8(1) The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy 5-22.
2      US   Department  of  State,  Outline  of  US  Government  (2000)  ch  1,
<http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/outusgov/chl .htm> at 1 November 2006.

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