Processing the Paradox. When the State has to Deal with Customary Law
Höhne, Markus Virgil – 2018
The paradox of liberal statecraft emerges from two contradictory demands. On the one hand, liberal state subscribes to the ideal that the rule of law should treat everyone as equal; on the other hand, liberal state also attempts to accommodate specific forms of difference, especially under self-acknowledged conditions of multiculturalism. Many contemporary African post colonies present themselves as adhering to the template of modern liberal statehood. Customary law in Africa has often been portrayed, and typically presented itself, as being in historical continuity with truly African cultures and traditions, appearing, in extreme renderings, as a relic of a timeless and static pre-colonial past. In Carolyn Logan's view 'Africans are thus creating for themselves, whether deliberately or by default, hybrid political systems that integrate the traditional systems with which they are deeply familiar and their newly minted electoral regimes'. The chapter also presents an overview on the key concepts discussed in this book.