The Transformation of Africa: A Critique of the Rights Discourse

Title

The Transformation of Africa: A Critique of the Rights Discourse

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Description

Published in International Human Rights Law in a Global Context, Felipe Gómez Isa & Koen de Feyter, eds.

This article explores the complexity of the African post-colonial state and interrogates the wisdom of deploying the human rights idiom as the panacea of the conceptual and structural challenges that haunt Africa. Although the piece does not jettison the utility of rights as a medium for social change, it is deeply skeptical about one-dimensional approaches to creating productive societies. The article questions the historical and ideological bases for the human rights project and wonders how an enterprise so steeped in one cultural milieu can be universalized without cross-fertilization and multi-culturalization. Besides, it expresses misgivings about the conceptual incompleteness of the human rights project. It asks how a distorted human rights enterprise can in turn recover distorted societies without acknowledging, understanding, and addressing those distortions.

Publication Date

2009

Publisher

University of Deusto

ISBN

9788498301878

First Page

899

Last Page

924

Keywords

Transformation, Africa, post-colonial state, human rights, universality, post-colonial thinkers, liberalism, democracy, ideology of human rights, legitimacy

Disciplines

Human Rights Law | Law

The Transformation of Africa: A Critique of the Rights Discourse

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