The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Volume 1
Title Details

682 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

1 b/w illus.

Imprint: James Currey

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Volume 1

Political, Intellectual & Cultural Origins

by Nat Rubner

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  • Contents
  • Author
  • Blog Post
Landmark study of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, one of the most important documents in modern African history, that positions it within the African Lives Matter struggle to assert an African identity rather than as simply a human rights document. Describes its underlying African origins and how the principles of the OAU influenced its path and content.

The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), which was proposed in 1979, adopted in 1981 and came into effect in 1986, was the first non-Western declaration of human rights and the first official statement of an African human rights perspective. With Africa largely absent in 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted, it stands in stark historical reproach to the Western conception of universal human rights as a pivotal document in the decolonisation of the continent. This book, for the first time, presents a comprehensive account of the development of the ACHPR, which is key to a proper understanding of its fundamental nature. Through documenting its process of construction, it becomes possible to understand how Africans themselves understood the process and the issues involved and how the ACHPR became a political text asserted by African leaders and not a continuum of a so-called universal human rights tradition. The result is a radical repositioning of the underlying context of the ACHPR, one of the most important documents in modern African history, of how it came to be and how it should therefore be understood.
Volume 1 outlines the dominant African political and cultural ideas of the time and their symbiotic relationship with the principles and politics upon which the OAU (now African Union) was founded and upon which it functioned. It thereby draws out the path the ACHPR process was obliged to follow and the influence of the existential desire to counter neo-colonialism in all its forms that helped bring it into being and shaped its content.
INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: The Emergence of African Discontent
Wartime propaganda in the British colonial territories
Wartime propaganda in the French colonial territories
The Atlantic Charter

PART ONE: THE ORIGINS OF THE ACHPR
Chapter 2: The Atlantic Charter and the Post-war Settlement
Africa and the Atlantic Charter
The UN Charter, UDHR and UNESCO - the post-war international settlement

Chapter 3: African Political and Economic Revanchism and the Emergence of the OAU
The emergence of the African Group at the UN
The creation of the OAU
The OAU polity

Chapter 4: African Intellectual and Cultural Revanchism - the Predicament of Black Disalienation
The universal Christian church in Africa
African literature, education and language
African socialism
Political rhetoric and the praxis of intellectual and cultural revanchism

PART TWO: The OAU and Human Rights
Chapter 5: The OAU Polity and the Domestic Praxis of Human Rights
British colonial territories
French colonial territories
North African colonial territories
Portuguese and Spanish colonial Territories

Chapter 6: The OAU Polity and the International Praxis of Human Rights
African states and the UDHR
The OAU and the CHR
The OAU and human rights at the UN beyond the CHR
African revanchist reinterpretation of the canons of universal human rights
The right to development and the prioritisation of human rights

Conclusion

NAT RUBNER has a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge. He is an Honorary Research Fellow, School of History, Queen Mary, University of London. In the course of his previous 20-year career in international finance, he edited the first public international debt prospectus of the African Development Bank.

Hardcover

9781847013538

August 2023

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9781805430032

August 2023

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9781805430049

August 2023

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Title Details

682 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

1 b/w illus.

Imprint: James Currey