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Book part
Publication date: 4 May 2020

Chris Kendall

This chapter examines the delicate balance achieved by apex courts in new democracies when dealing with impunity for rights violations during times of transitional…

Abstract

This chapter examines the delicate balance achieved by apex courts in new democracies when dealing with impunity for rights violations during times of transitional justice. While international law has clearly rejected amnesties for past rights violations, domestic politics sometimes incorporate amnesties as part of larger peace settlements. This puts courts in the difficult situation of balancing the competing demands of law and politics. Courts have achieved equipoise in this situation by adopting substantive interpretations and procedural approaches that use international law’s rights-based language but without implementing international law’s restrictions on amnesties. In many cases, courts do this without acknowledging the necessarily pragmatic nature of their decisions. In fact, oftentimes courts find ways of avoiding having to make any substantive decision, effectively removing themselves from a dispute that could call into question their adherence to international legal norms that transcend politics. In doing so, they empower political actors to continue down the road toward negotiated peace settlements, while at the same time protecting the courts’ legitimacy as institutions uniquely situated to protect international human rights norms – including those they have effectively deemphasized in the process.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Van L Jaarsveld I

Discusses principles of equality and justice in order to justify affirmative action and clarify its need. Posits that in both the USA and South Africa, issues of…

Abstract

Discusses principles of equality and justice in order to justify affirmative action and clarify its need. Posits that in both the USA and South Africa, issues of segregation and discrimination are not new and both countries have had the opportunity to address their past policies by way of affirmative action programmes. Looks at what determined the denouncement of the affirmative action in the USA and why the answer to this question may have a great impact on South Africa’s attempt to improve its own affirmative action programmes. Concludes that, although 30 years of affirmative action was deemed unconstitutional, how can South Africa derive and make use of the knowledge gained to help in stopping reverse discrimination.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Claire H. Griffiths

The purpose of this monograph is to present the first English translation of a unique French colonial report on women living under colonial rule in West Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this monograph is to present the first English translation of a unique French colonial report on women living under colonial rule in West Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The issue begins with a discussion of the contribution this report makes to the history of social development policy in Africa, and how it serves the on‐going critique of colonisation. This is followed by the English translation of the original report held in the National Archives of Senegal. The translation is accompanied by explanatory notes, translator’s comments, a glossary of African and technical terms, and a bibliography.

Findings

The discussion highlights contemporary social development policies and practices which featured in identical or similar forms in French colonial social policy.

Practical implications

As the report demonstrates, access to basic education and improving maternal/infant health care have dominated the social development agenda for women in sub‐Saharan Africa for over a century, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future in the Millennium Development Goals which define the international community’s agenda for social development to 2015. The parallels between colonial and post‐colonial social policies in Africa raise questions about the philosophical and cultural foundations of contemporary social development policy in Africa and the direction policy is following in the 21st century.

Originality/value

Though the discussion adopts a consciously postcolonial perspective, the report that follows presents a consciously colonial view of the “Other”. Given the parallels identified here between contemporary and colonial policy‐making, this can only add to the value of the document in exploring the values that underpin contemporary social development practice.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2011

Ashley Currier

This chapter considers how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists in Namibia and South Africa appropriate discourses of decolonization associated with…

Abstract

This chapter considers how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists in Namibia and South Africa appropriate discourses of decolonization associated with African national liberation movements. I examine the legal, cultural, and political possibilities associated with LGBT activists’ framing of law reform as a decolonization project. LGBT activists identified laws governing gender and sexual nonconformity as in particular need of reform. Using data from daily ethnographic observation of LGBT movement organizations, in-depth qualitative interviews with LGBT activists, and newspaper articles about political homophobia, I elucidate how Namibian and South African LGBT activists conceptualize movement challenges to antigay laws as decolonization.

Details

Special Issue Social Movements/Legal Possibilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-826-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Imani Perry

In this article Professor Perry argues that Plessy v. Ferguson and the de jure segregation it heralded has overdetermined the discourse on Jim Crow. She demonstrates…

Abstract

In this article Professor Perry argues that Plessy v. Ferguson and the de jure segregation it heralded has overdetermined the discourse on Jim Crow. She demonstrates through a historical analysis of activist movements, popular literature, and case law that private law, specifically property and contract, were significant aspects of Jim Crow law and culture. The failure to understand the significance of private law has limited the breadth of juridical analyses of how to respond to racial divisions and injustices. Perry therefore contends that a paradigmatic shift is necessary in scholarly analyses of the Jim Crow era, to include private law, and moreover that this shift will enrich our understandings of both historic and current inequalities.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-109-5

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Brendan Eze Asogwa and Ifeanyi Jonas Ezema

Agitation for adoption of freedom of access to government information is an emerging issue in Africa and has gathered momentum since 2000 when South Africa passed the…

Abstract

Purpose

Agitation for adoption of freedom of access to government information is an emerging issue in Africa and has gathered momentum since 2000 when South Africa passed the first freedom of information (FoI) law in the continent. This paper aims to discuss the extent of passage of FoI laws in Africa, the reality of their implementation in some of the countries and the critical challenges and recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

A document analysis approach was adopted for gathering vital information on the realities and challenges of FoI implementation in Africa. Literature on the concepts, principles and practice of FoI were reviewed, and relevant facts and figures were extracted to buttress the authors’ argument.

Findings

Only 14 (25.5 per cent) of the 55 countries in Africa had signed FoI law as on January 31, 2015; 16 (29.0 per cent) are still lobbying, while 25 (45.5 per cent) of the states had no significant plan yet. Political factors like colonial legacy, poor leadership, inexperienced record managers for the implementation of FoI Acts (FoIA), corruption and hydra-headed clauses such as “national security, and other privacy rights” impede access to government records in Africa. The paper recommended among others that African countries should amend restrictive laws that continue to impede full implantation of FoI laws.

Practical implications

Implementation of the provisions in the FoIA in Africa will not be realistic unless those restrictive clauses that hinder citizens from freely accessing government information are reviewed in line with free access to information.

Originality/value

This paper appears to be the first to review the status of FoIA in Africa since the first right to information laws were signed in the continent.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2016

Miriam Green

Ever since this area of scholarship has been developed in the West, what has generally been taught, researched and written about in the organisation/management field have…

Abstract

Ever since this area of scholarship has been developed in the West, what has generally been taught, researched and written about in the organisation/management field have been primarily English and North American theories about and practices in organisations. This focus has also been adopted by scholars and teachers all over the world, so that mainstream organisation/management scholarship is generally synonymous with western systems. However organisation and management, though not necessarily described in those terms, have existed in all societies through their economic, social and political arrangements, regardless of period, types of activity and stages of technological development.

It is here proposed to examine some African traditional societies in terms of their economic, social and political systems and compare them with mainstream Anglo-Saxon theories and practices. The main focus of this study will be on questions of accountability. Areas to be investigated are the assumptions underlying theories and practices in both types of societies; the systems in practice; their advantages and disadvantages and crucially whether western approaches have anything to learn from these traditional systems, now diminished in power and scope but still very much present in many parts of Africa. The converse question might also be put – can those traditional systems still extant benefit from Anglo-Saxon models of organisation and management?

There are difficulties with such a project. Differences in time, space, culture, size, economic activity and technology must make for problems for researchers. There are then the problems faced by any researcher in terms of their ‘habitus’ or ‘situatednessand the need for awareness of their own potential influences on their research. How much more problematic might this prove when examining very different cultures and attempting to make comparisons between their social systems in different time spans, different locations and in entirely different global political and economic contexts?

British social anthropologists, studying traditional societies during the colonial period, had the additional difficulties of being part of (or seen as part of) an occupying colonial administration. Normal difficulties concerning problems with information given to researchers by informants were compounded by this political context in which a great deal of scholarship about traditional societies was produced. This has been discussed over the decades by social anthropologists and sociologists, and will be addressed in this chapter, as at least some of the information used is from that period.

However, despite the difficulties, there is value in such comparisons and in heightening awareness of issues such as accountability in non-western systems as compared with questions of accountability in western institutions. This is relevant for those teaching organisation and management studies – not least to students from other parts of the world, and for practitioners who might gain some advantage from considering different systems and practices, and possibly also gain more insight into their own situations.

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Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-384-9

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Adaeze Okoye

The purpose of this article is to explore the problematic question of government's role in ensuring corporate social responsibility in an African context. This question…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore the problematic question of government's role in ensuring corporate social responsibility in an African context. This question may initially appear paradoxical yet it is becoming increasingly relevant in the face of linkages between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and development. The article uses the example of Nigeria's attempt to pass a CSR bill mandating contributions towards development to identify several questions arising in such contexts. It advises a contextual approach to identifying CSR objectives and recognises the need for frameworks which law can provide.

Design/methodology/approach

This article adopts a conceptual approach analysing the current debates about CSR and its linkage with development as well as the implications and issues raised by the attempted CSR law.

Findings

The main findings suggest that though CSR in general refers to business and society relationships, its content and targets need to be defined in context. Attempts to pass mandatory CSR laws (even where they do not succeed), hint at the need to concretise objectives particularly where CSR is linked to development. This can be done through frameworks which include the use of law in all its forms.

Originality/value

This article identifies a new direction that CSR may be taking in developing countries. It uses the Nigerian example to show that larger questions are looming for CSR, especially in connection with development. While current attempts to adopt a structured approach to CSR through legislation may not be wholly successful, they cannot be entirely ignored as this suggests the need for frameworks and concrete objectives in an African context like Nigeria.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Grietjie Verhoef and Grant Samkin

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the actions of the accounting profession, the state, universities, and academics have inhibited the development of South African

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the actions of the accounting profession, the state, universities, and academics have inhibited the development of South African accounting research.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple history approach using traditional archival material and oral history is used.

Findings

Since the late nineteenth-century, a network of human and non-human actors has ensured that accounting education in South Africa retained a technical focus. By prescribing and detailing the accounting syllabuses required for university accreditation, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and its predecessors exercise direct control over accounting education. As a result, little appetite exists for a discipline based on academic enquiry or engagement with international scholars. While the SAICA claims to support accounting research, this support is conditional on its meeting the professional body’s particular view of scholarship.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations associated with this research are that it focusses on one particular professional body in one jurisdiction. The South African situation provides a cautionary tale of how universities, particularly those in developing countries, should take care not to abdicate their responsibilities for the setting of syllabi or course content to professional bodies. Accounting academics, particularly those in a developing country currently experiencing major social, political, and economic problems, are in a prime position to engage in research that will benefit society as a whole.

Originality/value

Although actor network theory has been used in accounting research and in particular to explain accounting knowledge creation, the use of this particular theoretical lens to examine the construction of professional knowledge is limited. This study draws on Callon’s (1986) four moments to explain how various human actors including the accounting profession, the state, universities, and accounting academics, along with non-human actors such as accreditation, regulation, and transformation, have brought about South African academic disengagement with the discipline.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2017

M. Christopher Brown, T. Elon Dancy and Jason E. Lane

In this chapter, the authors interrogate the structures, natures, processes, and variables that shape globalized collegiate desegregation. The authors pay attention to the…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors interrogate the structures, natures, processes, and variables that shape globalized collegiate desegregation. The authors pay attention to the history of segregation in South African culture, then proceed to current efforts to dismantle and rebuild the country’s educational enterprise. Drawing parallels with segregation policy in the United States, the authors argue that both nations may draw from global lessons about systemic global anti-Black oppression and its structural forms (e.g., apartheid, inequities in higher education). More specifically, the authors ground arguments in an analysis of the linguistic hegemony that continues to inculcate the college-aspiring students of South Africa. Understanding fundamental desegregation characteristics of racial hegemonic nations (e.g., United States) vis-à-vis racial and linguistic hegemonic nations (e.g., South Africa) is imperative to increase understanding of democratization of educational systems throughout the world.

Details

Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification in Postsecondary Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-522-5

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