The aim of the lecture series is to both explore the current state of the start of contemporary European democratic theory and explore its future. Rather than starting from a neat definition of European democratic theory, however, the basic presupposition of this project is that neither the existence nor the central characteristics of European democratic theory can be taken for granted. Instead, the lecture series interrogates two fundamental questions about European democratic theory: Does Europe and its political theoretical tradition have a specific contribution to make for theorizing democracy in the 21st century? If so, what are the central characteristics of that approach?

Center for Critical Democracy Studies

Nov. 10, 17h00 (CET) 

Jamila Mascat (Utrecht): Towards A Theory of Postcolonial Justice


Hybrid: Remote/American University of Paris

Paper Abstract: This paper aims at proposing a definition of the concept of “postcolonial justice” in view of elaborating an empirically-informed theory of postcolonial justice qua reparative justice. For this purpose, it suggests combining scholarly literature on colonial and slavery reparations (Bessone 2019; Brennan and Packer 2012; De Greiff 2006; Lu 2017; Miller and Kumar 2007) with an analysis of the political claims for decolonizing society that decolonial grassroots activism has recently brought to the fore (such as claims for decolonizing the university, decolonizing the museums, decolonizing public spaces). First, the paper will investigate to what extent the notion of “postcolonial justice” – a concept that seems to have been very poorly explored in postcolonial scholarship – can provide a fruitful theoretical framework for connecting distinct demands for racial justice, cultural justice, epistemic justice, memorial justice as well as spatial justice. Secondly, it will show that claims for reparations can be considered as a crucial pillar for a theory of postcolonial justice. Lastly, it will argue for conceiving of a theory of postcolonial justice that is both critical and reparative.


Speaker Bio: Jamila M.H. Mascat is Assistant Professor in Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Her research interests focus on Hegel’s philosophy and contemporary Hegelianism, Marxism, Feminist theories and Postcolonial critique. She is the author of Hegel a Jena. La critica dell’astrazione (Pensa, 2011). She has co-edited Femministe a parole (Ediesse, 2012); G.W.F. Hegel, Il bisogno di filosofia 1801-1804 (Mimesis, 2014); M. Tronti, Il demone della politica. Antologia di scritti: 1958-2015 (Il Mulino, 2017);  Hegel & sons. Filosofie del riconoscimento (ETS, 2019); The Object of Comedy. Philosophies and performances (Palgrave, 2019),  E. Balibar, A. Negri, M. Tronti, Le démon de la politique (Editions d’Amsterdam, 2022); A. Kojève, La France et l’avenir de l’Europe (Gallimard, 2022). She is currently working on a monograph on the contemporary resignifications of partisanship (“Don’t agonize, Organize!”. On Partisanship and Political Engagement).

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