Law and the Public Sphere in Africa

Law and the Public Sphere in Africa

La Palabre and Other Writings
Jean Godefroy Bidima
Translated and edited by Laura Hengehold
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/20/2013
Format: cloth 240 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-01124-4
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Description

Jean Godefroy Bidima’s La Palabre examines the traditional African institution of palaver as a way to create dialogue and open exchange in an effort to resolve conflict and promote democracy. In the wake of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the gacaca courts in Rwanda, Bidima offers a compelling model of how to develop an African public space where dialogue can combat misunderstanding. This volume, which includes other essays on legal processes, cultural diversity, memory, and the internet in Africa, offers English-speaking readers the opportunity to become acquainted with a highly original and important postcolonial thinker.

Author Bio

Jean Godefroy Bidima is Yvonne Arnoult Chair of French Studies at Tulane University. He is author of Théorie Critique et Modernité Négro-Africaine.

Laura Hengehold is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University. She is author of
The Body Problematic: Political Imagination in Kant and Foucault.

Reviews

"Opens promising vistas for legal and political discourse. Its multidisciplinary orientation and the erudition of the author make for a text that has crossover appeal." —Olúfémi Táíwò, Cornell University

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Table of Contents

Foreword Souleymane Bachir Diagne

Preface to the English Edition Jean Godefroy Bidima

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Speech, Belief, Power Laura Hengehold

La Palabre: The Legal Authority of Speech
1. The Public Space of Palabre
2. A Political Paradigm
3. Convergent Suspicions
4. A Difficult Place in Political Thought

Other Essays

1. Rationalities and Legal Processes in Africa

2. Strategies for “Constructing Belief” in the African Public Space: “The Colonization of the Life-world”

3. African Cultural Diversity in the Media

4. Books between African Memory and Anticipation

5. The Internet and the African Academic World


Notes

Bibliography

Index
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