Africa and the History of International Law

OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, Forthcoming

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 48 of 2011/2012

27 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2012

See all articles by James Thuo Gathii

James Thuo Gathii

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: March 26, 2012

Abstract

This chapter traces the two major trends in thinking about Africa’s engagement with international law from a historical perspective: contributionists who emphasize Africa’s contributions to international law, on the one hand, and critical theorists who examine Africa’s subordination in its international relations as a legacy that is traceable to international law, on the other. Each approach emphasizes different aspects of Africa’s relationship to international law. Contributionism emphasizes Africa’s role as a generator and innovator of international legal norms. The critical approach by contrast emphasizes the ways in which international law has legitimized Africa’s marginality in the world. This difference in the emphasis is a reflection of that Africa’s historical engagement with international law cannot be rendered in singular or consensual terms.

Suggested Citation

Gathii, James Thuo, Africa and the History of International Law (March 26, 2012). OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, Forthcoming, Albany Law School Research Paper No. 48 of 2011/2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2029019

James Thuo Gathii (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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