Human Rights in Africa: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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Abdullahi Ahmed An-naim, Francis M. Deng
Brookings Institution Press, Dec 1, 2010 - Political Science - 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. Virginia 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.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Western Cultural Origins
13
The Effect of Western Perspectives on International Human Rights
15
Human Rights and Western Liberalism
27
Religious Perspectives
53
A Christian Perspective on Human Rights
55
The European Tradition of Human Rights and the Culture of Islam
100
Current Muslim Thinking on Human Rights
129
African Cultural Perspectives
237
An Akan Perspective on Human Rights
239
A Cultural Approach to Human Rights among the Dinka
257
Traditional Culture and the Prospect for Human Rights in Africa
286
Prospects for a CrossCultural Approach
325
Problems of Universal Cultural Legitimacy for Human Rights
327
Human Rights in an Evolving World Culture
364
Contributors
379

The Context of the NationState
153
Group versus Individual Identity in the African Debate on Human Rights
155
Human Rights in Francophone West Africa
180
Participatory Approaches to Human Rights in SubSaharan Africa
209
Subject Index
381
Name Index
389
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About the author (2010)

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im was associate professor of law at Khartoum University and is now visiting professor of law at the University of Saskatchewan.

Francis M. Deng is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies prog

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