Publication by Jean Godefroy Bidima, EURIAS fellow 2011-2012


Law and the Public Sphere in Africa. La Palabre and Other Writings

Jean Godefroy Bidima, translated and edited by Laura Hengehold, Indiana University Press, 2013.



Jean Godefroy Bidima’s La Palabre examines the traditional African institution of palaver as a way to create dialogue and open exchange in an effort to resolve conflict and promote democracy. In the wake of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the gacaca courts in Rwanda, Bidima offers a compelling model of how to develop an African public space where dialogue can combat misunderstanding. This volume, which includes other essays on legal processes, cultural diversity, memory, and the internet in Africa, offers English-speaking readers the opportunity to become acquainted with a highly original and important postcolonial thinker.