Albie Sachs and Transformation in South Africa: From Revolutionary Activist to Constitutional Court Judge

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Many critical theorists talk and write about the day after the revolution, but few have actually participated in the constitution of a revolutionary government. Emeritus Justice Albie Sachs was a freedom fighter for most of his life. He then played a major role in the negotiating committee for the new constitution of South Africa, and was subsequently appointed to the new Constitutional Court of South Africa. Therefore, the question of what it means to make the transition from a freedom fighter to a participant in a revolutionary government is not abstract, in Hegel’s sense of the word, it is an actual journey that Albie Sachs undertook.

The essays in this book raise the complex question of what it actually means to make this transition without selling out to the demands of realism. In addition, the preface written by Emeritus Justice Albie Sachs and his interview with Drucilla Cornell and Karin van Marle, further address key questions about revolution in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries: from armed struggle to the organization of a nation state committed to ethical transformation in the name of justice.

Albie Sachs and transformation in South Africa: from revolutionary activist to constitutional court judge illuminates the theoretical and practical experiences of revolution and its political aftermath. With first-hand accounts alongside academic interrogation, this unique book will intrigue anyone interested in the intersection of Law and Politics.

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About the author

Drucilla Cornell is a Professor of political science, women studies and comparative literature at Rutgers University (New Brunswick), a visiting professor at Birkbeck College in London and a Professor Extraordinaire at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Karin van Marle is Professor and Head of the Department of Jurisprudence at the University of Pretoria. She works from an ethical feminist perspective and situates post-apartheid jurisprudence within the field of law, culture and the humanities.

Albie Sachs is Emeritus Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Previous to this appointment, he was a freedom fighter in South Africa and subsequently played a major role in the negotiating committee for the new constitution of South Africa.

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Additional Information

Publisher
CRC Press
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Published on
Mar 5, 2014
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9781317819585
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Constitutional
Law / General
Law / Jurisprudence
Political Science / Constitutions
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is the first comprehensive casePub to address the relationship of uBuntu to law. It also provides the most important critical articles on the use of uBuntu, both by the Constitutional Court and by other levels of the judiciary in South Africa.

Although uBuntu is an ideal or value rooted in South Africa, its purchase as a performative ethic of the human goes beyond its roots in African languages. Indeed, this casePub helps break through some of the stale antinomies in the discussions of cultures and rights, since both the courts and the critical essays discuss ubuntu as not simply an indigenous or even African ideal but one that is its own terms calls for universal justification. The efforts of the Constitutional Court to take seriously competing ideals of law and justice has led to original ethical reasoning, which has significant implications for post apartheid constitutionalism and law more generally.

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In this risk-taking book, a major feminist philosopher engages the work of the actor and director who has progressed from being the stereotypical man's manto pushing the boundaries of the very genres-the Western, the police thriller, the war or boxing movie-most associated with American masculinity. Cornell's highly appreciative encounter with the films directed by Clint Eastwood revolve around the questions What is it to be a good man?and What is it to be, not just an ethical person, but specifically an ethical man?Focusing on Eastwood as a director rather than as an actor or cultural icon, she studies Eastwood in relation to major philosophical and ethical themes that have been articulated in her own life's work.In her fresh and revealing readings of the films, Cornell takes up pressing issues of masculinity as it is caught up in the very definition of ideas of revenge, violence, moral repair, and justice. Eastwood grapples with this involvement of masculinity in and through many of the great symbols of American life, including cowboys, boxing, police dramas, and ultimately war-perhaps the single greatest symbol of what it means (or is supposed to mean) to be a man. Cornell discusses films from across Eastwood's career, from his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me to Million Dollar Baby.Cornell's book is not a traditional book of film criticism or a cinematographic biography. Rather, it is a work of social commentary and ethical philosophy. In a world in which we seem to be losing our grip on shared symbols, along with community itself, Eastwood's films work with the fragmented symbols that remain to us in order to engage masculinity with the most profound moral and ethical issues facing us today.
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