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Long-Run Consequences of Legal Development in South Africa, 1652-2000
Author: Jens Meierhenrich
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Political Science
This highly original book examines the function of legal norms and institutions in the transition to - and from - apartheid. It sheds light on the neglected relationship between path dependence and the law. The Legacies of Law demonstrates that legal norms and institutions, even illiberal ones, can have an important - and hitherto undertheorized - structuring effect on democratic transitions. Focusing on South Africa during the period 1650-2000, Jens Meierhenrich finds that under certain conditions, law reduces uncertainty in democratization by invoking common cultural backgrounds and experiences. Synthesizing insights from law, political science, economics, sociology, history, and philosophy, he offers an innovative "redescription" of both apartheid and apartheid's endgame. The Legacies of Law demonstrates that in instances in which interacting adversaries share qua law reasonably convergent mental models, transitions from authoritarian rule are less intractable. Meierhenrich's careful longitudinal analysis of the evolution of law -and its effects -in South Africa, compared with a short study of Chile from 1830 to 1990, shows how, and when, legal norms and institutions serve as historical parameters to both democratic and undemocratic rule. By so doing, The Legacies of Law contributes new and unexpected insights -both theoretical and applied -to contemporary debates about democracy and the rule of law. Among other things, Meierhenrich significantly advances our understanding of "hybrid regimes" in the international system and generates important policy-relevant insights into the politics of law and courts in authoritarian regimes.
Fifty years before his death in 2013, Nelson Mandela stood before Justice de Wet in Pretoria's Palace of Justice and delivered one of the most spectacular and liberating statements ever made from a dock. In what came to be regarded as "the trial that changed South Africa", Mandela summed up the spirit of the liberation struggle and the moral basis for the post-Apartheid society. In this blistering critique of Apartheid and its perversion of justice, Mandela transforms the law into a sword and shield. He invokes it while undermining it, uses it while subverting it, and claims it while defeating it. Wise and strategic, Mandela skilfully reimagines the courtroom as a site of visibility and hearing, opening up a political space within the legal. This volume returns to the Rivonia courtroom to engage with Mandela's masterful performance of resistance and the dramatic core of that transformative event. Cutting across a wide-range of critical theories and discourses, contributors reflect on the personal, spatial, temporal, performative, and literary dimensions of that constitutive event. By redefining the spaces, institutions and discourses of law, contributors present a fresh perspective that re-sets the margins of what can be thought and said in the courtroom.
Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan
Author: Mark Fathi Massoud
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
How do a legal order and the rule of law develop in a war-torn state? Using his field research in Sudan, the author uncovers how colonial administrators, postcolonial governments and international aid agencies have used legal tools and resources to promote stability and their own visions of the rule of law amid political violence and war in Sudan. Tracing the dramatic development of three forms of legal politics - colonial, authoritarian and humanitarian - this book contributes to a growing body of scholarship on law in authoritarian regimes and on human rights and legal empowerment programs in the Global South. Refuting the conventional wisdom of a legal vacuum in failed states, this book reveals how law matters deeply even in the most extreme cases of states still fighting for political stability.
This volume puts to rest the myth that the Jews went passively to the slaughter like sheep. Indeed Jews resisted in every Nazi-occupied country - in the forests, the ghettos, and the concentration camps.The essays presented here consider Jewish resistance to be resistance by Jewish persons in specifically Jewish groups, or by Jewish persons working within non-Jewish organizations. Resistance could be armed revolt; flight; the rescue of targeted individuals by concealment in non-Jewish homes, farms, and institutions; or by the smuggling of Jews into countries where Jews were not objects of Nazi persecution. Other forms of resistance include every act that Jewish people carried out to fight against the dehumanizing agenda of the Nazis - acts such as smuggling food, clothing, and medicine into the ghettos, putting on plays, reading poetry, organizing orchestras and art exhibits, forming schools, leaving diaries, and praying. These attempts to remain physically, intellectually, culturally, morally, and theologically alive constituted resistance to Nazi oppression, which was designed to demolish individuals, destroy their soul, and obliterate their desire to live.
In Constitutional Identity, Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn argues that a constitution acquires an identity through experience—from a mix of the political aspirations and commitments that express a nation’s past and the desire to transcend that past. It is changeable but resistant to its own destruction, and manifests itself in various ways, as Jacobsohn shows in examples as far flung as India, Ireland, Israel, and the United States. Jacobsohn argues that the presence of disharmony—both the tensions within a constitutional order and those that exist between a constitutional document and the society it seeks to regulate—is critical to understanding the theory and dynamics of constitutional identity. He explores constitutional identity’s great practical importance for some of constitutionalism’s most vexing questions: Is an unconstitutional constitution possible? Is the judicial practice of using foreign sources to resolve domestic legal disputes a threat to vital constitutional interests? How are the competing demands of transformation and preservation in constitutional evolution to be balanced?
The Origins and Dynamics of Genocide in Contemporary Africa
Author: Scott Straus
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Political Science
In Making and Unmaking Nations, Scott Straus seeks to explain why and how genocide takes place—and, perhaps more important, how it has been avoided in places where it may have seemed likely or even inevitable. To solve that puzzle, he examines postcolonial Africa, analyzing countries in which genocide occurred and where it could have but did not. Why have there not been other Rwandas? Straus finds that deep-rooted ideologies—how leaders make their nations—shape strategies of violence and are central to what leads to or away from genocide. Other critical factors include the dynamics of war, the role of restraint, and the interaction between national and local actors in the staging of campaigns of large-scale violence. Grounded in Straus's extensive fieldwork in contemporary Africa, the study of major twentieth-century cases of genocide, and the literature on genocide and political violence, Making and Unmaking Nations centers on cogent analyses of three nongenocide cases (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal) and two in which genocide took place (Rwanda and Sudan). Straus’s empirical analysis is based in part on an original database of presidential speeches from 1960 to 2005. The book also includes a broad-gauge analysis of all major cases of large-scale violence in Africa since decolonization. Straus’s insights into the causes of genocide will inform the study of political violence as well as giving policymakers and nongovernmental organizations valuable tools for the future.
South Africa's constitution is the crowning achievement of the country's dramatic transition to democracy. This transition began with the unbanning of the liberation movements and release of Nelson Mandela from prison in February 1990. This book presentsthe South African constitution in its historical and social context.