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Human Rights in Africa: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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  • Format: Book
  • Published: 1990, The Brookings Institution
  • ISBN: 9780815717959
  • 399 pages
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This powerful volume challenges the conventional view that the concept of human rights is peculiar to the West and, therefore, inherently alien to the non-Western traditions of third world countries.

This book demonstrates that there is a contextual legitimacy for the concept of human rights. Virgina A. Leary and Jack donnelly discuss the Western cultural origins of international human rights; David Little, Bassam Tibi, and Ann Elizabeth Mayer explore Christian and Islamic perspectives on human rights; Rhoda E. Howard, Claude E. Welch, Jr., and James C. N. Paul examine human rights in the context of the African nation-state; Kwasi Wiredu, James Silk, and Francis M. Deng offer African cultural perspectives; and Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im and Richard D. Schwartz discuss prospects for a cross-cultural approach to human rights.

Selected Chapters

  • "An Akan Perspective on Human Rights"
  • "A Christian Perspective on Human Rights"
  • "A Cultural Approach to Human Rights among the Dinka"
  • "Current Muslim Thinking on Human Rights"
  • "The Effect of Western Perspectives on International Human Rights"
  • "The European Tradition of Human Rights and the Culture of Islam"
  • "Group versus Individual Identity in the African Debate on Human Rights"
  • "Human Rights and Western Liberalism"
  • "Human Rights in an Evolving World Culture"
  • "Human Rights in Francophone West Africa"
  • "Introduction"
  • "Participatory Approaches to Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa"
  • "Problems of Universal Cultural Legitimacy for Human Rights"
  • "Traditional Culture and the Prospect for Human Rights in Africa"

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 law.emory.edu/aannaim »

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 sharia.law.emory.edu »

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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