“The diverse essays, many by African scholars, make this an essential collection on a topic just beginning to animate African studies. Outstanding in their well-balanced combination of ethnography and theory, they thoroughly contextualize their topic. The contrast between the local and the international alone that this well-thought-out book illuminates is valuable.”
Pnina Werbner, author of The Making of an African Working Class
“This important volume asks us to step back and reconsider current processes for seeking justice—for righting wrongs, holding criminals accountable for their crimes, and fostering harmony—and to ask what should always have been the first question: what are the meanings individuals and communities attach to ‘justice’? Or, indeed, is there anything like ‘justice’ in Africa that can equate to the many, differing definitions of justice in the West?”
Brett Shadle, author of The Souls of White Folk: White Settlers in Kenya, 1900—1920s
Pursuing Justice in Africa focuses on the many actors pursuing many visions of justice across the African continent—their aspirations, divergent practices, and articulations of international and vernacular idioms of justice. The essays selected by editors Jessica Johnson and George Hamandishe Karekwaivanane engage with topics at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship across a wide range of disciplines. These include activism, land tenure, international legal institutions, and postconflict reconciliation.
Building on recent work in sociolegal studies that foregrounds justice over and above concepts such as human rights and legal pluralism, the contributors grapple with alternative approaches to the concept of justice and its relationships with law, morality, and rights. While the chapters are grounded in local experiences, they also attend to the ways in which national and international actors and processes influence, for better or worse, local experiences and understandings of justice. The result is a timely and original addition to scholarship on a topic of major scholarly and pragmatic interest.
Felicitas Becker, Jonathon L. Earle, Patrick Hoenig, Stacey Hynd, Fred Nyongesa Ikanda, Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo, Anna Macdonald, Bernadette Malunga, Alan Msosa, Benson A. Mulemi, Holly Porter, Duncan Scott, Olaf Zenker.
Jessica Johnson is a lecturer in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her work focuses on gender and justice in a matrilineal area of Malawi. More info →
George Hamandishe Karekwaivanane is a lecturer in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His work focuses on the interaction of law and politics in Zimbabwean history, as well as the social and political impacts of digital media. More info →
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Has South Africa dealt effectively with the past, and is the country ready to face the future? What are the challenges facing both government and civil society in the years ahead? These and other questions are explored in this collection of essays by international and local commentators on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A range of perspectives on whether the TRC met its objectives of truth and reconciliation is presented.
Land is a significant and controversial topic in South Africa. Addressing the land claims of those dispossessed in the past has proved to be a demanding, multidimensional process. In many respects the land restitution program that was launched as part of the county’s transition to democracy in 1994 has failed to meet expectations, with ordinary citizens, policymakers, and analysts questioning not only its progress but also its outcomes and parameters.
Prisons are always a key focus of those interested in human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights in African Prisons looks at the challenges African governments face in dealing with these issues. Written by some of the most eminent researchers from and on Africa, including the former chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Citizenship, Belonging, and Political Community in Africa
Dialogues between Past and Present
Edited by Emma Hunter
Africa, it is often said, is suffering from a crisis of citizenship. At the heart of the contemporary debates this apparent crisis has provoked lie dynamic relations between the present and the past, between political theory and political practice, and between legal categories and lived experience. Yet studies of citizenship in Africa have often tended to foreshorten historical time and privilege the present at the expense of the deeper past.