Afro-Communitarianism and the Question of Rights

in Theoria
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Calabar
  • | 2 University of Koblenz-Landau
Restricted access

We argue that Menkiti and Gyekye – the forerunners in Afro-communitarianism, to different extents both trivialise the notion of human rights. While Menkiti prioritises community and denies human rights, Gyekye who upholds human rights subsumes these to the community. We contend that both are however mistaken in their trivial conceptions of human rights. To clarify the confusion, we propose that the notion of rights in Afro-communitarianism can have two possible senses namely, rights as participatory and rights as entitlements and that the failure to recognise these senses was what led Menkiti to a fringed position and Gyekye to a difficult position. We then conclude that Afro-communitarianism, in both Menkiti and Gyekye harbours a certain notion of rights contrary to Menkiti’s assumption but it is not one that accommodates the idea of inalienability contrary to Gyekye’s suggestion.


A Journal of Social and Political Theory


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 381 169 14
Full Text Views 22 2 0
PDF Downloads 44 3 0