Bonny Ibhawoh is an author and professor of global human rights and African Studies at McMaster University. His scholarship includes studies in the history of human rights, the cultural relativism of human rights, the right to development and peace/conflict studies. He is the author of several books on African History, Human Rights and Peace & Conflict studies including Imperialism and Human Rights ,[1] and Imperial Justice: Africans in Empire's Court,[2] and Human Rights in Africa (Cambridge University Press).[3] He is a contributor to the GIAZILO blog - a blog on "Human Rights, Social Justice and Peace."[4]

Ibhawoh is a critic of absolute cultural relativism in the interpretation of human rights norms. He has argued that the cultural relativist stance has been dominated by urban-based elites whose perception of "cultural legitimacy" focuses on the idealized and invented traditions of collectivism, definitive gender roles, and conservative patriarchy in the interpretation of moral values.[5] His book "Imperialism and Human Rights" has been described as "one of the first to explore the role rights performed during the process of decolonization of Africa."[6] Ibhawoh is a recipient of the John Holland Award for Professional Achievement.[7][8] Ibhawoh is a member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada.[9]


Ibhawoh began his academic career as a lecturer at Bendel State University, Nigeria (now, Ambrose Alli University). He has held faculty appointments at the University of Lagos and Covenant University in Nigeria, Brock University, Canada, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He was a Human Rights Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, New York,[10] Research Fellow at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen and Associate Member of the Centre for African Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.[11][12]



  1. ^ "Imperialism and Human Rights". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  2. ^ Imperial Justice: Africans in Empire's Court. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 2013-10-15. ISBN 9780199664849.
  3. ^ Ibhawoh, Bonny. Human Rights in Africa. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139060950.
  4. ^ "GIAZILO". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  5. ^ Corinne A. A. Packer, Using Human Rights to Change Tradition: Traditional Practices Harmful to Women's Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa, Antwerp, Intersentia, 2002, p. 98
  6. ^ Barreto, José-Manuel (2014). "Imperialism and Decolonization as Scenarios of Human Rights History," in Human Rights from a Third World Perspective: Critique, José-Manuel Barreto ed. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 1443840580.
  7. ^ "John Holland Awards, Past Recipients". John Holland Awards. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  8. ^ "Recognizing success at John C. Holland awards". Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "Bonny Ibhawoh elected to Royal Society". McMaster University. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Bonny A. Ibhawoh (Carnegie Council Fellow 2001-2002)". Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  11. ^ "Dr. Bonny Ibhawoh". Black in Canada. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  12. ^ Elizabeth, Lumley (2009). Canadian Who's Who 2009. Toronto: Canadian Who's Who 2009. p. 624. ISBN 0802099653.
  13. ^ "Imperialism and Human Rights". SUNY Press.

External linksEdit