Critique’s Coloniality and Pluriversal Recognition: on care as the ecological ground of justice

16 October 2019, 1.00 PM - 16 October 2019, 2.00 PM

Dr Mark Jackson

G38, Wills Memorial Building

Dr Mark Jackson from the School of Geographical Sciences will present a talk entitled 'Critique’s Coloniality and Pluriversal Recognition: on care as the ecological ground of justice'.

Questions of justice lie at the heart of contemporary debates concerning reconciliation within postcolonial settler societies. What constitutes just recognition? Whose standards of justiciability count? How can postcolonial states recognise precolonial law? Is justice under legal pluralisms possible? Yet, these questions themselves depend on arguments about political legitimacy across lifeworlds of difference. Critique and criticality are often turned to as important epistemological grammars for adjudicating questions of difference and legitimacy. This paper argues, however, that the concepts of critique and critical subjectivity, which are often taken as the modern, self-reflexive possibilities for articulating political and legal legitimacy are themselves products of colonial geographies and contemporary colonialities. Assuming critique and the critical attitude to be somehow inured from colonial reproduction and coloniality is short-sighted and mistaken. Using indigenous legal theory drawn from recent interventions by indigenous legal scholars into questions of just recognition in the Canadian context of political reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the paper argues two things: first, it problematises the notion that cultivating a critical attitude— or critique itself—is somehow free from the effects of coloniality; second, it argues that ethical ontologies emergent from ecological lifeworlds actually condition the possibility for critique, and that these conditions— care, reciprocity, freedom, love, etc—form the material ground and ecological basis for just recognition across pluriversal lifeworlds.

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