Law and the Public Sphere in Africa
La Palabre and Other Writings
Publication Year: 2013
Jean Godefroy Bidima’s La Palabre examines the traditional African institution of palaver as a way to create dialogue and open exchange in an effort to resolve conflict and promote democracy. In the wake of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the gacaca courts in Rwanda, Bidima offers a compelling model of how to develop an African public space where dialogue can combat misunderstanding. This volume, which includes other essays on legal processes, cultural diversity, memory, and the internet in Africa, offers English-speaking readers the opportunity to become acquainted with a highly original and important postcolonial thinker.
Published by: Indiana University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Table of Contents
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The reader will have ample opportunity to decide whether this book is a sym-phony or a cacophony. however they may choose, readers are no fools and know that the signed personal adventure of any book or article responds like an echo to many individuals who have discreetly and patiently set this symphony or cacophony to music. The responsibility for errors and rough statements in this text should be laid at ...
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...when The Economist, on the cover of its 13 May 2000 issue, labeled africa ?The hopeless continent,? the magazine was certainly not betting on the seeds of change that had been appearing since the early 1990s on that continent, in spite of the wars and their attendant woes. when, a decade later, on the cover of its 3 december issue, the same magazine saluted a ?rising africa,? those seeds had started to produce pal-...
Preface to the English Edition: Justice, Deliberation, and the Democratic Public Sphere: Palabre and its Variations
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...we never enter a house without crossing a space called the ?threshold? and without ?bearing tales? about ourselves or others that reveal how we are connected to them and to the world around us. if we may indulge in an association and a comparison, every book has an immediate threshold?such as the preface, the foreword, the introduction, or the note to readers; and also a distant threshold, which is the universe of tales, ambi-...
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...it is.sc a good thing to have too many friends to thank properly. for continually encour-aging my study of african culture and politics, i wish to thank Seloua Luste boulbina, cheryl Toman, and Gilbert doho. Souleymane bachir diagne, Michael Naas, and dee Mortensen deserve my gratitude for helping to navigate the publishing world. david Stute?s interest in habermas gave me an alibi for this project, which grew far beyond ...
Introduction: Speech, Belief, Power
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To live in a political realm with neither authority nor the concomitant awareness that the source of authority transcends power and those who are in power, means to be confronted anew, without the religious trust in a sacred beginning and without the protection of traditional and therefore self-evident standards of behavior, by the hannah arendt, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought...
La Palabre: The Legal Authority of Speech
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Parado.scx.scic.scally.sc, while af.scric.scan political and intellectual elites tend to scorn pal-abre and prefer a superficial legalism directly borrowed from the west, western coun-tries and Japanese businesses resort to palabre whenever a conflict requires settlement or a law requires interpretation.1 The very people who overemphasized law are return-ing to practices of informal mediation, while those who spontaneously practiced the ...
1: The Public Space of Palabre
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...what is.sc palabrequestion.sc Not just an exchange of words, but also a social drama, a proce-dure, and a series of human interactions. Palabre is therefore an act of staging [mise en The palabre is not held just anywhere, and since choosing a place is the object of a miniature palabre in its own right, the space of palabre becomes highly symbolic. The space of palabre marks the transformation of extension in space. by virtue of its ...
2: A Political Paradigm
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...if.sc c.sco.scnf.sclic.sct c.scanno.sct be eliminated, how can we live together with it? how should we contemplate a form of consensus that does not revert to the demand for unanimity found in so many totalitarian regimes? how to make consensus and pluralism cohabit in a single public space? as an uninterrupted dialogue, palabre embodies dissensus in a peaceful social space. it establishes the limits between the tolerable and intolerable, ...
3: Convergent Suspicions
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Palabre ex.sco.scrc.scis.sces.sc, c.schannels.sc, and sometimes authorizes the use of social violence. its function is to stage public confrontation, a spectacle in which the self grapples with its other. and yet, there are institutions in africa competing equally with palabre in the project of reducing alterity. These include traditional powers, colonization, single-The primary competitor to palabre is found in traditional societies? existing forms ...
4: A Difficult Place in Political Thought
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The c.sco.scm.scp.screhens.scio.scn o.scf.sc political mechanisms in africa?the cost, exercise, trans-mission and control of power?must be the object of a second anthropological reading of symbolic systems structuring the collective and the subjective, the institutional uses of rhetoric, and the specific conflicts they engender. where does palabre fit in here?Pan-africanism was supposed to be a political, economic, and cultural movement to ...
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The g.sco.scal o.scf.sc reflection on palabre is not to impose a mode of thought coming from tribal society on the organization of the state. Nor is it a matter of making palabre a panacea that will resolve all the problems raised by the present organization of african societies. Palabre unlocks the trigger of historical reflection. it does not offer western societies, often in love with exoticism, an ?access to the primitive forces of human ...
Rationalities and Legal Processes in Africa
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Taking together place, time, and manner, it would be possible to describe ?the encoun-ter? as comprising at least six modes: fragility, temporality, activity, integrity, causality, 1. whether it is a collision or a harmonious synthesis, the encounter consists of a rather fragile balance, since two realities (cultures, or forms of rationality) in con-tact will never be arithmetically proportionate; asymmetry is a necessary part of the ...
Strategies for “Constructing Belief” in the African Public Sphere: “The Colonization of the Lifeworld”
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No.scnidentity.sc has.sc b.sceen perpetually stifled in africa by discourses and practices of repression. research is needed to show how the political dimension affects the concept of possibility in critical Theory and in the confrontation between african modernity and its possibilities. further, the epistemo-political importance of such an inquiry must be demonstrated. finally, given the multiplicity of parameters that ...
African Cultural Diversity in the Media
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The issue of cultural diversity in sub-Saharan africa is an old problem that already concerned colonial administrations and postindependence african elites, the promot-ers of that common but extremely delicate commodity, democracy, and it still con-The colonial administrations (both british and french) found themselves facing the issue of cultural diversity. how were they to bring under colonial law such differ-...
Books between African Memory and Anticipation
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The b.sco.sco.sck.sc s.sco.scws.sc; whether one likes it or not, the book always spreads seeds. The capi-tal letter ?L,? one element of the symbol for Larousse dictionaries and encyclopedias in france (L is also the first letter of the word ?book? in romance languages), is there for a good reason: it ?scatters in every direction.? L (either for ?livre? or for ?Larousse,? but let?s choose ?livre?!) strews to the winds: would the L therefore be ?drunk? [ivre]? if so, ...
The Internet and the African Academic World
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...any.sc p.scrac.sctic.sce, tec.schno.sclo.scg.scy.sc, or form of expertise needs an account that can explain its basis and organization as well as its objectives. whether the internet is understood as a practice, or as a journey through a space that knows no borders, or whether one curses it as the latest example of human excess (hybris), its real-ity nevertheless raises questions about our experience of the world (experimentum ...
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About the Author and the Translator
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Jean Go.scdef.scro.scy.sc bidim.sca is Professor and Yvonne arnoult chair of french Studies at Tulane university. he is author of Th?orie critique et modernit? n?gro-africaine: De l??cole de Francfort ? la ?Docta Spes Africana? (1993) and the titles La philosophie n?gro-africaine (1995) and L?art n?gro-africain (1997) in the Puf Que Sais-Je? series. La Pal-abre (1997) is his first full-length book translated into english....
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: World Philosophies