The development of a truth regime on ‘the human’: human rights in the Gold Coast (1945-57)

Bonabom, Isidore (2012) The development of a truth regime on ‘the human’: human rights in the Gold Coast (1945-57). Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

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, national 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 (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT History of Africa > DT0470 West Africa. West Coast > DT0491 British West Africa > DT0509.97 Ghana (Gold Coast)
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC501 Purpose, functions, and relations of the state > JC585 Rights of the individual. General works
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2012 15:09
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 13:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38621

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