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Human Rights from Community

A Rights-Based Approach to Development

Oche Onazi

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How community can inspire poor and vulnerable individuals to realise their human rights

Poverty, exclusion and lack of participation are symptomatic of state and market-based approaches to human rights. Oche Onazi uses Nigeria as a case study to show how the idea of community is a better alternative, capable of inspiring the poor and the vulnerable to organise themselves democratically and claim ownership of the processes that determine their human rights.

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Dominant Approaches
Point of Departure
Human Rights, Electricity and Nigeria
Structure of the Book
1 Human Rights and Community: Unlocking the Deadlock
2. Are Human Rights Enough?
3. Good Governance as Metaphor for Development
4. Good Governance and the Marketisation of Human Rights
5. The Good Governance of Electricity: Nigeria as Case Study
6. Reclaiming Human Rights: A Theory of Community
7. Electricity for Community by Community: The Co-operative Model
Conclusion: Imagining a Post-State Human Rights Discourse

About the Author

Dr. Oche Onazi is Lecturer in Law at the University of Dundee. He has published articles in Law, Global Development and Social Justice, Global Jurist and International Journal of Law in Context.


Human rights and community often have a contentious relationship - this book aims to show that human rights are an integral part of the love and empathy, which humans need to realise community. In lucid, passionate and sensitive prose, Onazi develops this theory using the example of development politics in Nigeria.

- Zenon Bankowski, Professor Emeritus of Legal Theory, The University of Edinburgh School of Law

An important contribution to both academic literature and the debate surrounding international development policies and the fulfilment of access to economic and social rights.

- Joanna Morley, School of Advanced Study, University of London, International Community Law Review

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