Human Rights, Southern Voices: Francis Deng, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Yash Ghai and Upendra Baxi

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Overview

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 this book is to make accessible the ideas of four jurists who present distinct 'Southern' perspectives on human rights.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521113212
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2009
  • Series: Law in Context Series
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction William Twining 1

2 Francis Mading Deng 4

2.1 Introduction 4

Readings 9

2.2 The Cow and the Thing Called "What": Dinka Cultural Perspectives on Wealth and Poverty 9

2.3 Human rights, universalism and democracy 30

(a) Traditional institutions and participatory democracy in Africa 30

(b) Globalisation and localisation of democracy in the African context 33

(c) Universalism versus relativism in cultural contextualization of human rights 36

(d) Cultural constraints on the universality of human rights 39

(e) Dinka moral values and human rights principles 42

2.4 A cultural approach to human rights among the Dinka 44

2.5 Suggestions for further reading 52

3 Abdullahi An-Na'im 53

3.1 Introduction 53

Readings 58

3.2 Context and methodology: the Second Message of Islam 58

3.3 Shari'a and basic human rights concerns 62

3.4 Cultural legitimation: Towards a cross-cultural approach to defining international standards of human rights: The meaning of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment 79

3.5 Islam and the secular state 91

(a) Why Muslims need a secular state 91

(b) Islam, Shari'a, and constitutionalism: non-Muslims 94

(c) Audiences 96

(d) Inclusive public debate 97

(e) Secularism in context 98

3.6 Economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) 98

3.7 Suggestions for further reading 102

4 Yash Ghai 104

4.1 Introduction 104

Readings 109

4.2 Universalism and relativism: human rights as a framework for negotiating interethnic claims 109

Introduction 109

(a) Relativism: a critical assessment 113

(b) Generalizations from national studies 115

4.3 Understandinghuman rights in Asia 120

4.4 Quotations 150

(a) The Asian values debate 150

(b) Confucianism 151

(c) Hong Kong's Basic Law 151

(d) The nature of economic, social, and cultural rights 152

(e) The Justiciability of economic, social, and cultural rights 152

(f) Poverty and human rights 154

(g) Post-modernism, globalization, and the nation state 155

4.5 Suggestions for further reading 156

5 Upendra Baxi 157

5.1 Introduction 157

Readings 162

5.2 Voices of suffering and the future of human rights 162

5.3 Rights and "development" 204

(a) "Development", "terror" and the posthuman world 204

(b) Gandhi and development 207

(c) Time and development: The Millennium Development Goals 208

5.4 Suggestions for further reading 210

6 Conclusion William Twining 211

Bibliography 222

Index 231

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