Tous les articles par zevounou

The Art of Human Rights, Commingling Art, Human Rights and the Law in Africa

Romola Adeola, Michael Gyan Nyarko, Adebayo Okeowo, Frans Viljoen (eds.), University of Pretoria, Springer International Publishing, 2019, 152.p

This book highlights the use of art in human rights, specifically within Africa. It advances an innovative pattern of thinking that explores the intersection between art and human rights law. In recent years, art has become an important tool for engagement on several human rights issues. In view of its potency, and yet potential to be a danger when misused, this book seeks to articulate the use of arts in the human rights discourse in its different forms. Chapters cover how music, photography, literature, photojournalism, soap opera, commemorations, sculpting and theatre can be used as an expression of human rights. This book demonstrates how arts have become a formidable expression of thoughts and a means of articulating reality in a form that simplifies truth and congregates resolve to advance change. 

The Southern Key: Class, Race, and Radicalism in the 1930s and 1940s

Michael Goldfield, Wayne State University, Oxford University Press, 2020, 428.p

The South is today, as it always has been, the key to understanding American society, its politics, its constitutional anomalies and government structure, its culture, its social relations, its music and literature, its media focus, its blind spots, and virtually everything else. The Southern Key argues that much of what is important in American politics and society today was largely shaped by the successes and failures of the labor movements of the 1930s and 1940s, and most notably the failures of southern labor organizing during this period. It also argues that these failures, despite some important successes in organizing interracial unions, left the South (and consequentially much of the rest of the United States as well) racially backward and open to right-wing demagoguery. These failures have led to a nationwide decline in unionization, growing economic inequality, and overall failures to confront white supremacy head on. In an in-depth look at unexamined archival material and detailed data, The Southern Key challenges established historiography, both telling a tale of race, radicalism, and betrayal and arguing that the outcome was not at all predetermined.

Mobilized by Injustice: Criminal Justice Contact, Political Participation, and Race,

Hannah L. Walker, Rutgers University, Oxford University Press, 2020.

Springing from decades of abuse by law enforcement and an excessive criminal justice system, members of over-policed communities lead the current movement for civil rights in the United States. Activated by injustice, individuals protested police brutality in Ferguson, campaigned to end stop-and-frisk in New York City, and advocated for restorative justice in Washington, D.C. Yet, scholars focused on the negative impact of punitive policy on material resources, and trust in government did not predict these pockets of resistance, arguing instead that marginalizing and demeaning policy teaches individuals to acquiesce and withdraw. Mobilized by Injustice excavates conditions under which, despite otherwise negative outcomes, negative criminal justice experiences catalyze political action. This book argues that when understood as resulting from a system that targets people based on race, class, or other group identifiers, contact can politically mobilize. Negative experiences with democratic institutions predicated on equality under the law, when connected to a larger, group-based struggle, can provoke action from anger. Evidence from several surveys and in-depth interviews reveals that mobilization as result of negative criminal justice experiences is broad, crosses racial boundaries, and extends to the loved ones of custodial citizens. When over half of Blacks and Latinos and a plurality of Whites know someone with personal contact, the mobilizing effect of a sense of injustice promises to have important consequences for American politics.

Us versus Them: Race, Crime, and Gentrification in Chicago Neighborhoods

Quatrième de couverture: 

Crime and gentrification represent hot button issues in racially diverse neighborhoods. Drawing on three and a half years of ethnographic fieldwork, this book provides a detailed analysis of community conflict in Rogers Park and Uptown, two Chicago neighborhoods. The book shows how competing views about neighborhood change divided residents into two political camps, which prioritized either the fight against crime or the fight against gentrification. This division frequently materialized as a type of racial conflict, because antigentrification activists and their allies charged that grassroots anticrime initiatives were, in truth, barely covert racist practices that were meant to foster racial displacement and marginalization. Chapter by chapter, the book traces these conflicts in different areas of community life. It examines the strategies of public safety work that residents used to fight crime and how their efforts contributed to gentrification; how antigentrification activists resisted criminalization and gentrification; how politicians sought to actively use or downplay community divisions in their electoral campaigns; and how residents of different racial and ethnic backgrounds positioned themselves in these battles.


Auteur: J. Doering, McGill University


M. S. Jones, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America, Cambridge University Press, 2018, coll. “Studies in Legal History”, 268.p

Birthright Citizens tells how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans. Before the Civil War, colonization schemes and black laws threatened to deport former slaves born in the United States. Birthright Citizens recovers the story of how African American activists remade national belonging through battles in legislatures, conventions, and courthouses.

They faced formidable opposition, most notoriously from the US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott. Still, Martha S. Jones explains, no single case defined their status. Former slaves studied law, secured allies, and conducted themselves like citizens, establishing their status through local, everyday claims. All along they argued that birth guaranteed their rights. With fresh archival sources and an ambitious reframing of constitutional law-making before the Civil War, Jones shows how when the Fourteenth Amendment constitutionalized the birthright principle, the aspirations of black Americans’ aspirations were realized.

Cet ouvrage a fait l’objet d’au moins trois recensions: 

A. Twitty, Journal of Southern History, 2019, vol. 85, n°3, p. 686-687; 
R. D. Brown, Journal of the Early Republic, 2019, vol. 39, n°3, p. 575-577;
W. G. Thomas III, The Journal of the Civil War Era, 2019, vol. 9, n°3, p. 467-470.


K. Bridges, Critical Race Theory: a primer, Foundation Press, 2018

This highly-readable primer on Critical Race Theory (CRT) examines the theory’s basic commitments, strengths, and weaknesses. In addition to serving as a primary text for graduate and undergraduate Critical Race Theory seminars or courses on Race and the Law, it can also be assigned in courses on Antidiscrimination Law, Civil Rights, and Law and Society. The book can be used by any reader seeking to understand the relationship between constructions of race and the law.

The text consists of four Parts. Part I provides a history of CRT. Part II introduces and explores several core concepts in the theory―including institutional/structural racism, implicit bias, microaggressions, racial privilege, the relationship between race and class, and intersectionality. Part III builds on Part II’s discussion of intersectionality by exploring the intersection of race with a variety of other characteristics―including sexuality and gender identity, religion, and ability. Part IV analyzes several contemporary issues to which CRT speaks―including racial disparities in health, affirmative action, the criminal justice system, the welfare state, and education.


A. Nakissa, Anthropology of Islamic Law: Education, Ethics, and Legal Interpretation at Egypt’s Al-Azhar, New York, Oxford University Press, 2019, 312.p 

This book shows how hermeneutic theory and practice theory can be brought together to analyze cultural, legal, and religious traditions. These ideas are developed through an analysis of the Islamic legal tradition, which examines both Islamic legal doctrine and religious education. In terms of disciplinary orientation, the book combines anthropology and Islamicist history, utilizing both ethnography and in-depth analysis of Arabic religious texts. The book focuses on higher religious learning in contemporary Egypt, examining its intellectual, ethical, and pedagogical dimensions. Data is drawn from over two years of fieldwork inside al-Azhar University, Cairo University’s Dār al-ʿUlūm, and the network of traditional study circles associated with the al-Azhar mosque. Together these sites constitute the most important venue for the transmission of religious learning in the contemporary Muslim world. Although the book gives special attention to contemporary Egypt, it provides a broader analysis relevant to Islamic legal doctrine and religious education throughout history. 




A. Kamugisha, Beyond Coloniality. Citizenship and Freedom in the Caribbean Intellectual Tradition, Indiana University Press, 2019, 320.p

Against the lethargy and despair of the contemporary Anglophone Caribbean experience, Aaron Kamugisha gives a powerful argument for advancing Caribbean radical thought as an answer to the conundrums of the present. Beyond Coloniality is an extended meditation on Caribbean thought and freedom at the beginning of the 21st century and a profound rejection of the postindependence social and political organization of the Anglophone Caribbean and its contentment with neocolonial arrangements of power. Kamugisha provides a dazzling reading of two towering figures of the Caribbean intellectual tradition, C. L. R. James and Sylvia Wynter, and their quest for human freedom beyond coloniality. Ultimately, he urges the Caribbean to recall and reconsider the radicalism of its most distinguished 20th-century thinkers in order to imagine a future beyond neocolonialism.

Chapter 1: Beyond Caribbean Coloniality


Chapter 2: The Coloniality of Citizenship in the Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean
Chapter 3: Creole Nationalism and Racism in the Caribbean


Chapter 4: A Jamesian Poeisis? C.L.R. James’s New Society and Caribbean Freedom
Chapter 5: The Caribbean Beyond: Sylvia Wynter’s Black Experience of New World Coloniality and the Human after Western Man

Conclusion: A Caribbean Sympathy


I. Merle (CNRS/CREDO), A. Muckle, L’indigénat. Genèses dans l’empire français. Pratiques en Nouvelle-Calédonie (Victoria University Wellington), Paris, 2019, CNRS éditions, 691.p

L’indigénat évoque une triste histoire. D’abord, pour les colonisés qui subirent pendant plus d’un demi-siècle les effets de ce régime juridique répressif. Ensuite, pour la nation française qui dévoya en colonie ses idéaux démocratiques en refusant de les étendre à ceux qu’elle soumettait.L’indigénat évoque une triste histoire. D’abord, pour les colonisés qui subirent pendant plus d’un demi-siècle les effets de ce régime juridique répressif. Ensuite, pour la nation française qui dévoya en colonie ses idéaux démocratiques en refusant de les étendre à ceux qu’elle soumettait.

Ce livre offre, pour la première fois, une histoire du régime de l’indigénat sur la longue durée, depuis ses origines les plus lointaines dans l’Algérie de la conquête jusqu’aux héritages les plus contemporains en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Dans ce pays, l’indigénat éclaire avec force les pratiques de la domination coloniale du point de vue de ceux qui l’exercent comme de ceux qui la subissent.

Isabelle Merle et Adrian Muckle offrent une réflexion au long cours sur la fabrique de la condition indigène et de l’exception coloniale à travers l’histoire singulière de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, dont la mémoire continue de hanter les débats contemporains.

African Legal History Symposium

CALL FOR PAPERS: African Legal History Symposium

Co-conveners: Erin Braatz, Suffolk University Law School; Trina Hogg, Oregon State University; Elizabeth Thornberry, Johns Hopkins University; Charlotte Walker-Said, CUNY-John Jay College

Fortuitously, the 2019 annual meetings of the African Studies Association and the American Society for Legal History will both take place November 21-23 in Boston. In hopes of sparking a more sustained engagement across these two fields, and marking what we see as an inflection point in scholarship on African legal history, we invite paper proposals for an African Legal History preconference symposium, to be held in Boston on November 21, 2019. The symposium will be hosted by the American Society for Legal History in coordination with the African Studies Association, with sponsorship from the Suffolk University Law School.

We seek papers in the field of African legal history, broadly construed, and are particularly excited about papers that extend the insights of established scholarship, with its focus on customary law, in new directions. We encourage paper and panel proposals on law in Africa in the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial periods, British, French, Islamic, Lusophone, and indigenous African traditions, and on all types of law (family, criminal, property, constitutional, business, customary, imperial, pluralist, international, etc.) Papers may focus on any region of the continent (including North Africa and the island territories).

Please email abstracts for proposed papers to, with “African Legal History Symposium” in the subject line, by 5 April 2019. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length. Full papers to be presented at the symposium will be due by November 1, 2019, for circulation to all participants. Limited funding will be available to assist with the costs of travel. Funding priority will be given to scholars based on the African continent, graduate students, adjunct instructors, and scholars who do not have access to research funding through other sources.

We encourage symposium participants to consider submitting proposals directly to the ASA and ASLH as well, for inclusion in the main program of those conferences.


A. Niang, The Postcolonial State in Transition. Stateness and Modes of Sovereignty, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018, “Kilombo International Relations and Colonial Questions”, 244.p

Théorie de l’Etat et de la souveraineté, Relations internationales, Théories postcoloniales, anthropologie, droit.

“The Postcolonial African State in Transition offers a new perspective on a set of fundamental, albeit old questions with salient contemporary resonance: what is the nature of the postcolonial state? How did it come about? And more crucially, the book poses an often neglected question: what was the postcolonial African state internally built against? Through a detailed historical investigation of the Voltaic region, the book theorizes the state in transition as the constitutive condition of the African state, rendering centralization processes as always transient, uncertain, even dangerous endeavors. In Africa and elsewhere in the colonial and postcolonial world, the centralized sovereign state has become something of a meta-model that bears the imprint of necessity and determinism. 

This book argues that there is nothing natural, linear, conventional or intrinsically consensual about the centralized state form. In fact, the African state emerged, and was erected against, and at the expense of a variety of authority structures and forms of self-governance. The state has sustained itself through destructive practices, internal colonization, and in fact the production and alienation of a range of internal others”.