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Title: Does Africa need another kind of law? : alterity and the rule of law in Subsaharan Africa
Author: Ntephe, Peter
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Does the Rule of Law in Africa need another kind of law? This theoretical dissertation answers in the affirmative, drawing exclusively from secondary literature. The dissertation uses critical discourse analysis to challenge the Rule of Law Orthodoxy, a set of ideas and strategies accepted in development practice as formulaic for the Rule of Law. The goal is to demonstrate that an Afrocentric alternative to modern law is not only plausible but would better facilitate the Rule of Law in Africa. Establishing the plausibility of the alternative substantiates the cliché that Africa should look to its indigenous norms for renaissance. This should have implications for policy formulation as it fundamentally challenges the current paradigm for establishing the Rule of Law. The dissertation conceives of the Rule of Law as a state of functionalism rather than as the 'Rule of Modern Law.' The dissertation argues that the Rule of Law Orthodoxy assumes the essentialism of modern law. The dissertation uses coups and corruption to demonstrate that in the absence of systemic fidelity to modern law in Africa, the Orthodoxy is futile. The dissertation provides an Afrocentric critique of modern law which holds modern law alienating in Africa. The dissertation then makes the case for looking for an 'Other' of modern law which will attract systemic fidelity in Africa. The dissertation presents African customary law as a historic alternative to, and different form of law from, modern law. The dissertation argues that the legal cultures and rationalities that simultaneously produced and were embedded by African customary law have endured and continue to undermine the success of modern law in Africa. The dissertation then uses the concept of alternative modernity as a contemporary framework to rationalise Africa's need for an 'Other' of modern law and co-opts anarchism in support of the case.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral