International Law, the Civilizing Mission and the Ambivalence of Development in Africa: Conceptual Underpinnings

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Forji , A G 2013 , ' International Law, the Civilizing Mission and the Ambivalence of Development in Africa: Conceptual Underpinnings ' , Journal of African and International Law , vol. 6 , no. 1 , pp. 191-226 .

Title: International Law, the Civilizing Mission and the Ambivalence of Development in Africa: Conceptual Underpinnings
Author: Forji, Amin George
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Date: 2013
Language: eng
Number of pages: 36
Belongs to series: Journal of African and International Law
ISSN: 1821-620X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/40102
Abstract: International law, past and present has had to constantly wrestle with striking a balancing act between legality and imperialism. Following the Agrarian and Industrial revolutions, European1 economies increasingly witnessed profound boosts in productivity and net output beginning from the 17th century. By the start of the 19th century when explorations and discoveries were the currency of the day, European powers increasingly saw the acquisition of Africa as crucial to satisfy its economic imperatives namely: reinforcing home industries and instituting a market for finished products. While professing liberal moralism, European encroachment into Africa became suddenly exemplified with a turn from informal to formal empire.2 As Europeans penetrated deep into Africa, there also arose a need to develop a body of rules to govern their relations. The eventual encounter with African indigenous peoples3 sparked many complications for international lawyers at the level of international relations. How was international law going to qualify the colonization of the African continent by European invaders? Where was the moral boundary of subjugation in relation to international law? What standard was this moral boundary going to be based on?
Subject: 513 Law
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