The Development of a Truth Regime on ‘the Human’: Human Rights in the Gold Coast (1945-57)

Bonabom, Isidore (2011) The Development of a Truth Regime on ‘the Human’: Human Rights in the Gold Coast (1945-57). PhD thesis, University of Sussex.

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The thesis proposes to approach the idea of human rights as a specific truth regime on ‘the human’ that contests those regimes of falsity which deny the essence of humanness on grounds such as race, sex, colour, gender, nationality or social origin. This theoretical proposition is supported by a case study of the deployment of the idea of human rights in the Gold Coast from 1945 up to Ghana’s independence from colonial rule in 1957. As such, the study analyses how the concept of human rights, affirmed in the 1945 United Nations Charter and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articulated in the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, influenced domestic politics in one British colony in Africa. At the same time, the study highlights the way in which post-World War II nationalism produced some of the most important political changes affecting this region in this era. Relying on a first-hand investigation of archival and primary sources, the thesis scrutinizes the formulation of demands for the collective right to self-determination which emanated from nationalist movements, the evolving drafts for a bill of rights in Ghana’s Independence Constitution and the debates on whether or not to extend the European Convention on Human Rights to the Gold Coast. The particular and disprivileged position of women in the colony is a subject of critical commentary throughout the thesis. By examining critically the emergence of the human rights idea, the study draws attention to the complex interplay of factors as well as actors that inspired a new-fangled notion of universal rights, while highlighting the way politics, including Cold War politics, contributed to define the subject of human rights in an ambiguous, incomplete but promising way.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human rights: An idea in need of defence, The Gold Coast as the case study, Human rights in Africa: Current approaches in the literature, Human rights as a truth regime, Discursive creation of the Gold Coast as colony, protectorate and mandated territory, The ‘human being’ of human rights in the politics of difference, International human rights instruments in the politics of Gold Coast, Making sense of human rights in the Gold Coast: debates on the bill of rights, The Nationalism discourse as a rhetoric of rights, Changes in British policy after World War II,
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: JHI Africa
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 12:13
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 09:44

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