"The volume stands out both in its timeliness and in the originality of its 'new thinking' about human rights on the continent. . . . The editors offer excellent intellectual leadership to this project."--Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin, MadisonThe often oppressive existence endured by ordinary Africans means that human rights issues, along with political and economic ones, are central to Africa's progress. The 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, signed by African leaders, takes the stance that human rights in Africa must honor the traditional African concern for the collective over the sanctity and integrity of the individual. The editors and authors of this book argue against that consensus, defending the position that human rights are universal.The contributors ask whether the idea of universal human rights is tenable theoretically and practically, coming at the issue from bases of social and political theory, history, and law. They conclude that the views on human rights in Africa need to move in the direction of international thinking on the issue, a posture not merely Western but quintessentially human.The book has much to offer students of African and international studies, human rights specialists, and others concerned with human rights issues.ContentsPart I. Theoretical PerspectivesEndless Teardrops: Prolegomena to the Study of Human Rights in Africa, by Ronald CohenHuman Rights and Precolonial Africa, by Timothy FernyhoughHuman and Peoples' Rights: What Point Is Africa Trying to Make? by H. W. O. Okoth-OgendoThe African Human Rights Process: A Contextual Policy-Oriented Approach, by Winston P. NaganPart II. Substantive IssuesWomen's Rights and the Right to Development, by Rhoda E. HowardAfrican Refugees: Defining and Defending Their Human Rights, by Art Hansen"Life Is War": Human Rights, Political Violence, and Struggles for Power in Lesotho, by Robert ShanafeltThe National Language Question and Minority Language Rights in Africa: A Nigerian Case Study, by F. Niyi AkinnasoEducation and Rights in Nigeria, by Ajuji Ahmed and Ronald CohenAcademic Freedom in Africa: A Right Long Overlooked, by Goran HydenThe Challenges of Domesticating Rights in Africa, by Goran HydenRonald Cohen is professor of anthropology and African studies at the University of Florida; among his many books and articles on Africa is Satisfying Africa's Food Needs (1988). Goran Hyden is professor of political science at the University of Florida; his books on African politics and development include No Shortcuts to Progress (1983). Winston Nagan, professor of law and affiliate professor of anthropology at the University of Florida, chaired the board of Amnesty International (USA) from 1989 to 1991."