ISBN 9781870784023
Pages 136
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 1989
Publisher CODESRIA, Senegal
Format Paperback

The Concept of Human Rights in Africa

by Issa G. Shivji

Hitherto the human rights debate in Africa has concentrated on the legal and philosophical. The author, Professor of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam, here moves the debate to the social and political planes. He attempts to reconceptualise human rights ideology from the standpoint of the working people in Africa. He defines the approach as avoiding the pitfalls of the liberal perspective as being absolutist in viewing human rights as a central question and the rights struggle as the backbone of democratic struggles. The author maintains that such a study cannot be politically neutral or intellectually uncommitted. Both the critique of dominant discourse and the reconceptualisation are located within the current social science and jurisprudential debates.

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About the Author

Issa G. Shivji

Issa G. Shivji is one of Africa's leading experts on law and development issues. Shivji has served as advocate of the high court and the Court of Appeal of Tanzania since 1977 and advocate of the high court in Zanzibar since 1989. He has taught and worked in universities all over the world, including the University of Zimbabwe, the University of Warwick, the University of Hong Kong and El Colegio De Mexico. He is a retired Professor of Public Law and first holder of the Julius Nyerere Professorial Chair in Pan-African Studies of the University of Dar es Salaam. He has published over a dozen books, including “Class Struggles in Tanzania” (1976), “The Concept of Human Rights in Africa” (1989) and “Pan-Africanism or Pragmatism: Lessons of Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union” (2008).

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