A just international order and a healthy cosmopolitan discipline of law need to include perspectives that take account of the standpoints, interests, concerns and beliefs of non-Western people and traditions. The dominant scholarly and activist discourses about human rights have developed largely without reference to these other viewpoints. Claims about universality sit uneasily with ignorance of other traditions and parochial or ethnocentric tendencies. The object of the book is to make accessible the ideas of four jurists who present distinct 'Southern' perspectives on human rights.
'The book on the whole offers a good insight into the similarities and differences. It helps to compare each particular stance to the other and allows relating them to those patterns of thought that are typical for western approaches in the study of human rights … Twining's edition makes available the particular view of four legal scholars from a non-Western background to a Western audience. Different social contexts, socio-cultural and activist experiences shaped the mind set with the help of which they understand, investigate and evaluate law and justice. This pluralist approach counts as an invitation to make academic discourse on international human rights less parochial and ethnocentric. Vergassung und Recht in Ubersee
William Twining is Quain Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus of University College London. He has worked extensively in Eastern Africa, the Commonwealth and the United States. Much of his recent work explores the implications of globalisation for law and legal theory. His previous book, General Jurisprudence: Understanding Law from a Global Perspective, is a precursor of Human Rights: Southern Voices.