VICTIMOLOGY IN AFRICA 3/E

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An ancient African worldview translates from the traditional isiZulu umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu as      “I am what I am because of who we are”.

Justice in traditional Africa did not seek to create offences or offenders, but rather to maintain equilibrium in communitarian societies. This stands in stark contrast to the individual-orientated and punitive nature of Western concepts of law and criminal justice (including the administration of International justice), and highlights the need in Africa – with its history of colonisation, abuse of power and conflict – to shift the boundaries of victimology in transitional and post-conflict societies outside the realm of narrow and oppressive Western viewpoints. Victimology in Africa takes a critical emancipatory approach to the study field, one which recognises indigenous African values as a conceptual framework.

 

Victimology in Africa critically analyses hidden victimisation in society, dehumanising notions of victimhood, victimisation patterns, secondary victimisation by the Western criminal justice system together with the exploitation of international financial institutions and the misappropriation of traditional knowledge on the African continent. Its African approach to victimology – one that celebrates intense humanness and universal interconnectedness – can be considered an emerging area of specialisation in the field. Such an alternative framework refers to the historical, cultural, political and socioeconomic dimensions of victimisation on the colonial–postcolonial continuum and considers macro and micro links between interpersonal victimisation and victimisation in broader society.

Victimology in Africa contains a cutting-edge presentation of contemporary scholarly discourse that is relevant both contextually and globally, seeking to stimulate further empirical enquiry and theory development, and to inform policy and practice.

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