To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter 6 takes a close look at the watershed moment of World War II to show how Africans’ demands for better working conditions, greater political participation, and more social services pressured European nations to reform the development episteme. Economic hardship during the war intensified African vulnerability to poverty, malnutrition, and disease. Britain passed the new Colonial Development and Welfare Act (CDWA) in 1940, and France followed suit with the establishment of the Fonds d’Investissement pour le Développement Economique et Social (the Investment Fund for Economic and Social Development) (FIDES) in 1946. Unlike pre–World War II colonial development policies that demanded self-sufficiency, these initiatives provided significant metropolitan funding for economic and social programs in Africa without the stipulation that they result in a direct return on investment. European colonial development in Africa was no longer simply investment in colonial industries; now it claimed to promote the welfare of African people. Imperial powers envisioned postwar development as a solution to growing dissent in Africa and budding anticolonial movements across the globe at the end of the war. The new colonial development policies signaled a desperate attempt to keep colonialism alive at a time when it seemed perilously out of date.
Two sentiments governed the postwar world: fear and hope. These two feelings dominated the debates that gave birth to both the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The League of Nations had failed. Leaders had expressed the desire for a world grounded in human rights but could not agree on what that meant or whether individual rights trumped the sovereign rights of nations. The UN Charter reflected these concerns, recognizing human rights but leaving their scope undefined. No precedents existed to guide the work. A committee of eighteen nations, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, accepted the unprecedented assignment of defining basic rights for all people everywhere. After consulting with noted jurists, philosophers, and social justice organizations, the committee set out to draft a document that would recognize the horrors of war and engender a commitment to peace. They envisioned a world governed more by hope than by fear. It was hard work. The debate was punctuated by escalating Cold War politics. A legally binding document seemed out of reach. All efforts turned instead to securing a declaration of human rights, which ultimately paved the way for legally binding commitments and energized a budding human rights movement.
Chapter 1 examines the beginnings of human rights activism in the 1930s and 1940s. It starts with a discussion of the National Council of Civil Liberties, which engaged with the question of human rights but was too close to the Communist Party to embrace them wholeheartedly. The chapter then looks at wartime initiatives, notably the debate over a ‘New Declaration of the Rights of Man‘ launched by H. G. Wells in 1940 and the Atlantic Charter of 1941, before discussing the impact of the formation of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Although there was no effective ‘human rights movement‘ in this period, some groups did explore the potential of human rights in their campaigning in the later 1940s. The chapter concludes with the Rev. Michael Scott, who shot to prominence by defending the rights of the Hereros of South West Africa (modern Namibia) at the UN. Scott, it is argued, represented a new kind of political activist: alive to the potential of human rights as a weapon for fighting racial oppression in the postwar world, and able to take advantage of the new international institutions of that world.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.