Human Rights Intervention in Africa

Adam Branch

in Displacing Human Rights

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782086
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919130 | DOI:
Human Rights Intervention in Africa

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Chapter 1 describes the historical development of contemporary human rights intervention in Africa. It describes the dominant image of Africa in the West and how it provides legitimacy for “total human rights interventions,” which conceive of themselves as technical efforts to remedy a wide array of problems thought to be internal to African states and societies—such as poverty, social breakdown, psychological trauma, or impunity—that are represented as being both consequence and cause of violent conflict. These interventions justify themselves through reference to the moral language of human rights. These interventions can be assessed according two dimensions: first, an instrumental dimension, and second, an administrative dimension. This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book, which distinguishes between different human rights interventions and draws out the political consequences of each by applying this analytical approach.

Keywords: human rights; humanitarian intervention; total intervention; Africa; peacebuilding

Chapter.  14273 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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