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The Fragmentation of the African Human Rights System

  • Kofi Oteng Kufuor
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Abstract

Until now in describing and explaining the evolution of the African human rights system our focus has been on developments within the framework of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. However, as we noted earlier on the African Charter is only the primary instrument in the African system; in effect there are other human rights instruments that, together with the African Charter make up the system’s entire body. It is the proliferation of these post-African Charter laws that amount to the start of what we call the fragmentation of the African human rights system. In this regard we examine the African Charter for Popular Participation in Development and Transformation, the Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance in Africa and the OAU Grand Bay Declaration and Plan of Action.

Keywords

Collective Bargaining System Fragmentation Southern African Development Community Political Pluralism Fair Election 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    For an introduction to new regionalism and how it is distinct from old regionalism, see Fredrik Soderbaum, “Introduction: Theories of New Regionalism” in Fredrik Soderbaum and Timothy M. Shaw (eds.) Theories of New Regionalism: a Palgrave Reader (2003) Palgrave Macmillan: New York, pp.1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Regional integration within SADC and ECOWAS has been led by these two countries respectively. They have provided the incentives to integrate, through their large markets, and they have given these bodies an added purpose through, for instance military action in civil conflicts. On South Africa’s role, see Chris Alden and Mills Soko, “South Africa’s Economic Relations with Africa: Hegemony and Its Discontents,” 43 Journal of Modern African Studies (2005), pp.367-392. For a study of Nigeria in West Africa see Katharina Pitcher Coleman, International Organisations and Peace Enforcement: The Politics of International Legitimacy (2007) Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 10.
    Competition generally, as globalization draws together political and economic systems, can produce a race to the top, instead of the much feared race to the bottom that tends to be main argument advanced by interests scared of increasing global competition. Enthusiasts of globalization, while claiming that there is very little evidence of a race to the bottom, do insist that competitive process can add value to the life chances of the poor and less-privileged. See generally, Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization (2005) Oxford University Press: New York.Google Scholar
  4. 61.
    ECOWAS had actually premised its intervention in the Liberian conflict on the grounds that it had to prevent an armed seizure of power in that country. See Abiodun Alao, The Burden of Collective Goodwill: the International Involvement in the Liberian Civil War (1998) Ashgate: Aldershot.Google Scholar
  5. 62.
    ECOWAS adopted a Revised Treaty in 1993 to replace its founding 1975 Treaty. For analysis of these developments see Kofi Oteng Kufuor, The Institutional Transformation of the Economic Community of West African States (2006) Ashgate: Aldershot.Google Scholar

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© Kofi Oteng Kufuor 2010

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  • Kofi Oteng Kufuor

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