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Repairing Postcolonial Relations

Political Theory
Social Justice
Critical Theory
Race
Memory
Narratives
Normative Theory
Power
P391
Johannes Schulz
University of Lucerne

Building: VMP 5, Floor: 2, Room: 2091

Friday 14:00 - 15:40 (24/08/2018)


Abstract

We live in a postcolonial world. International relations as well as group relations in most contemporary societies are tainted by remainders of the colonial past. The latter is true, to mention but a few examples, of the relation between settlers and indigenous peoples in settler societies in Australasia, North America or Latin America, the relation between descendants of former slaves and slave owners in the USA and the Caribbean, as well as of the relation between postcolonial immigrants and majority populations in Europe. Can we repair these morally fraught relations and if so, how? What are the normative grounds for postcolonial reparation? Are they backward looking or forward looking? Do we have further, independent reasons for repairing postcolonial relations that are not already covered by existing duties of distributive justice? Must former colonizers pay compensation or are postcolonial duties best understood as going beyond monetary forms of reparation? The panel will address these and related questions and, in doing so, transcend the dualism between those who think that the colonial past matters because it gives rise to duties of corrective justice and those who think that, if at all, it has significance only when and because addressing it is instrumental to fulfilling duties of distributive justice. Approaches that transcend this dualism, like that recently offered by Catherine Lu or those inspired by the work of Iris Marion Young, have gained much traction recently. The critical analysis and further elaboration of such structural approaches to reparation, as they are sometimes called, will constitute a key subject of discussion in this panel. How exactly does addressing past colonial wrongs matter, if not in order to identify corrective duties or as an instrument that will help advance the fulfillment of distributive duties? The panelists will explore different answers to this question, ranging from the role that commemorations and collective narratives play in perpetuating social inequality, to the ways in which past stigmatization, as well as distrust and disrespect in the enduring interaction of social groups change what is required of justice today.

Title Details
Corrective Justice and the Narrative Construction of the Past for Present Purposes: A Proposal for Rethinking Postcolonial Reparation View Paper Details
Injustice, Reparation, and Legitimacy View Paper Details