20. November 2010, 10.00 Uhr

Panel IV: Particularity and Universality

Introduction:

Susanne Schröter

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The panel deals with conflicting priorities in universalist and particularist approaches to justice and peace. While both justice and peace are considered to be universal concepts, they are often viewed as ideals to be achieved rather than as existing realities. Politicians, jurists and scholars attempt to define them in concrete contexts and to translate them into tangible terms in political agreements and legal texts. On the level of local actors, these terms are then once again appropriated, commented, rephrased and transformed. Two scholars who have done longterm research in Africa discuss these processes and their manifold dynamics: Cecilia Lynch scrutinises Christian ethics with reference to the concept of popular casuistry; Mamadou Diawara focuses on African musicians’ responses to the
Universal Copyright Convention.

Lecture I:

Popular Casuistry and the Problem of Peace and/or Justice in Christian Ethics

Cecelia Lynch

Video:

Audio:

Most contemporary political debates presuppose the secular as the basis for normative order, primarily for European and North American politics, but also for global norms. The religious is often
seen as the counterpoint to or intrusion into the secular. This is particularly true of religions other than Christianity, especially Islam. Conversely, I foreground the relationship between tensions in Christian ethics and tensions in normative orders on issues of peace and justice. I do so through a genealogical analysis of 20th century Christian ethics on issues of violence and the use of force, focusing on debates around the concept of ‘popular casuistry’ (Lynch 2009) in a ‘secular age’ (Taylor 2007). Tracing debates from the 1930s, the 1960s and 70s, and the 1990s among Christian movements and theologians about peace and/or justice, the use of force and the legitimacy of violence, I argue that Christian interpretations and ethical tensions – seen through working out the concept of popular
casuistry in each case – play an important part in sustaining and challenging normative orders and reveal tensions between goals of peace and/or justice.

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Cecelia Lynch is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California, Irvine. She teaches and writes on international relations, organisation and law, religion and ethics, social movements and civil society, and humanitarianism.

 

Lecture 2:

Justice, in Whose Name? The Domestication of Copyright in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mamadou Diawara

Video:

Audio:

In 1952, UNESCO passed the Universal Copyright Convention. Together with the Berne Convention (1886) it established the norms of copyright protection that every nation must endeavor to respect in its national legislation. This paper deals with the musicians and intends to show how people in day to day life, according to their
gender, wealth and power, respond to the will of the state and the international development agencies to grant right and justice. How is the ‘romance of the commons’ experienced locally?

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Prof. Dr. Mamadou Diawara is Professor for the Anthropology of Africa at the Institut für Ethnologie of the Goethe University Frankfurt. He is Deputy Director of the Frobenius Institute and
the Founding Director of Point Sud, Center for Research on Local Knowledge, in Bamako, Mali. He is also one of the Principal Investigators in the Cluster of Excellence with a project entitled
‘Media and Norms in Africa‘. Before he joined Frankfurt University in 2004, he was Henry Hart Rice Professor for Anthropology and History at the Yale Center for International and Area
Studies at Yale University, and Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His areas of research include media, history, oral tradition, and local knowledge in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in
Mali. He has published numerous articles and several books, among them L’empire du verbe - L’éloquence du silence. Vers une anthropologie du discours dans les groupes dits dominés
au Sahel (Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe, 2003) and, with Ute Röschenthaler, Im Blick der Anderen (Brandes & Apsel, 2008).


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