Imperialism and Human Rights: Colonial Discourses of Rights and Liberties in African History
2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
In this seminal study, Bonny Ibhawoh investigates the links between European imperialism and human rights discourses in African history. Using British-colonized Nigeria as a case study, he examines how diverse interest groups within colonial society deployed the language of rights and liberties to serve varied socioeconomic and political ends. Ibhawoh challenges the linear progressivism that dominates human rights scholarship by arguing that, in the colonial African context, rights discourses were not simple monolithic or progressive narratives. They served both to insulate and legitimize power just as much as they facilitated transformative processes. Drawing extensively on archival material, this book shows how the language of rights, like that of "civilization" and "modernity," became an important part of the discourses deployed to rationalize and legitimize empire.
Other editions - View all
African antislavery appeal argued arguments articulated Atlantic authorities basis became British challenge changes Charter chiefs Christian civil claims colonial officials colonial rule concern constitutional context Council cultural custom customary debates demands deployed discussions dominated early economic educated effective elites empire entitled European extended fact freedom grounds groups guarantee historical human rights ideas imperial important included independence indigenous individual influence interests issues justice Lagos land language of rights legitimize liberal limited London marriage means missionaries moral movement nationalist Native Courts natural newspaper Nigeria notions opposition ownership particularly period persons petitions political practices Press promote protect question Record regime relations rhetoric rights and liberties rights discourse rights talk rule significant slave slavery social societies Standard subjects tion traditional treaty UDHR United University values West Western women Yoruba