A Force Profonde: The Power, Politics, and Promise of Human Rights

By Edward A. Kolodziej | Go to book overview

Chapter 13
Southern Africa

Robert Mattes and Anthony Leysens


The Terrain of Human Rights in Southern Africa

The sweep of democracy’s “third wave” through southern Africa in the 1990s is testimony to the increasing demands for and claims to human rights made by citizens and groups across this region.1 To be sure, we cannot account for this trend without acknowledging the role of global forces such as the end of the Cold War and the increasing emphases on open markets and good governance by international financial institutions and donors. Few of the forty transitions from authoritarian rule in sub-Saharan Africa would have even commenced, let alone succeeded, without the end of the bipolar world, the powerful exemplars of successful transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and increasing World Bank and International Monetary Fund demands for political and economic liberalization.

Yet, as important as these developments were, the international context only provides the starting point from which increasing claims for human rights and democracy proceed, and hence the backdrop against which the struggle for them has been played out in southern Africa. International factors alone cannot explain the wide degree of variation in why some countries expanded the range of political and civil rights and held a successful founding democratic election, while others did not. While the regional agenda of rights and democratization received a broad push from international forces, it has largely been driven from within southern Africa. Understanding this process requires us to focus on the role of ideas, but also of politics and economics, as well as forces us to grapple with the interplay of contingency and agency.


Ideas

Human rights claims have, on one hand, consisted of political demands for dignity and freedom initially from European colonialism or settler rule (itself an international force and early forerunner of globalization) and

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A Force Profonde: The Power, Politics, and Promise of Human Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter 1 - A Force Profonde- The Power, Politics, and Promise of Human Rights 1
  • Part I - Contending Legitimacies 29
  • Chapter 2 - Western Perspectives 31
  • Chapter 3 - Muslim Perspectives 45
  • Part II - Regional Perspectives 69
  • Chapter 4 - The Northern Tier 71
  • Chapter 5 - North Africa 91
  • Chapter 6 - The Middle East- Israel 113
  • Chapter 7 - Northeast Asia- China 128
  • Chapter 8 - South Asia 144
  • Chapter 9 - Southeast Asia 163
  • Chapter 10 - The European Union 182
  • Chapter 11 - Eastern Europe- The Russian Federation 198
  • Chapter 12 - Latin America 220
  • Chapter 13 - Southern Africa 238
  • Chapter 14 - West Africa- Nigeria 260
  • Part III - Retrospect and Prospects 275
  • Chapter 15 - Whither Human Rights? 277
  • Notes 293
  • References Cited 299
  • Contributors 317
  • Index 319
  • Acknowledgments 339
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