African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam

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  • Format: Book
  • Published: 2006, University of Pennsylvania Press
  • ISBN: 9780812239621
  • 216 pages
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According to the author, constitutionalism is succeeding in Africa incrementally through practice. The book examines the dynamic relationship of general principles of constitutionalism and experiences in realizing these principles in the local context of a range of African countries. It also explores the "contingent role of Islam," that competing understandings of Islam can either be supportive or detrimental to the development of constitutionalism in African Islamic societies, depending on a variety of factors. This thesis and analysis, as a specific example of the broader thesis of the book as a whole, is applied to the development of constitutionalism in Sudan, Nigeria, and Senegal. Sponsored by CSLR, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Emory University School of Law.

About the Author: Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im (from Sudan) is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law, associated professor in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion of Emory University. An internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights and human rights in cross-cultural perspectives, Professor An-Na'im teaches courses in international law, comparative law, human rights, and Islamic law. His research interests include constitutionalism in Islamic and African countries, secularism, and Islam and politics. Professor An-Na'im directed the following research projects which focus on advocacy strategies for reform through internal cultural transformation:

Women and Land in Africa
Islamic Family Law
Fellowship Program in Islam and Human Rights
The Future of Sharia: Islam and the Secular State
The websites for these projects can be accessed through Professor An-Na'im's personal homepage at »

Professor An-Na'im's current research projects include a study of Muslims and the secular state, and of human rightsfrom state-centric to people-centered. He continues to further develop his theory of Islam and the Secular State (Harvard University Press, 2008), also published in Arabic and Indonesian. Translations of this manuscript in Bengali, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Turkish and Russian, are available for download free of charge at »

Education: PhD (Law), University of Edinburgh (Scotland), 1976; LLB (Honours) and Diploma in Criminology, University of Cambridge (England), 1973; LLB (Honours), University of Khartoum (Sudan), 1970


Selected Publications by This Author

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