Prisoners of Freedom Human Rights and the African Poor

ISBN-10: 0520249240

ISBN-13: 9780520249240

Edition: 2006 (Annotated)

Authors: Harri Englund

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Description:

In this vivid ethnography, Harri Englund investigates how ideas of freedom impede struggles against poverty and injustice in emerging democracies. Reaching beyond a narrow focus on the national elite,Prisoners of Freedomshows how foreign aid and human rights activism hamper the pursuit of democratic citizenship in Africa. The book explores how activists' aspirations of self-improvement, pursued under harsh economic conditions, find in the human rights discourse a new means to distinguish oneself from the poor masses. Among expatriates, the emphasis on abstract human rights avoids confrontations with the political and business elites. Drawing on long-term research among the Malawian poor, Englund brings to life the personal circumstances of Malawian human rights activists, their expatriate benefactors, and the urban and rural poor as he develops a fresh perspective on freedom--one that recognizes the significance of debt, obligation, and civil virtues.
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 9/12/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 260
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
The Situation of Human Rights: Debating Governance and Freedom
Rights as Freedoms: Translating Human Rights
The Hidden Lessons of Civic Education: Training the Torchbearers
Watchdogs Unleashed? Encountering "the Grassroots"
Legal Aid for Abused Labor: Individualizing Grievances
Crimes of Exploitation: Dehumanizing a Lorry Boy
Human Rights and Moral Panics: Listening to Popular Grievances
Redeeming Freedom
Notes
References
Index
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