Wednesday, 2 June 2010, 6.15pm

Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum HZ 3

Professor Siba N’Zatioula Grovogui (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)

Can You Hear Me Now?
‘The Last Normative Order’ and Why it Collapsed


Siba N. GrovoguiSiba N. Grovogui, born in Guinea, is Professor of International Relations and Political Theory at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Political Science since July 2005. 2001-2005 he was Associate Pro-fessor, 1995–2001 Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University. From 1993- 1995 he was Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University. 1989 –1990 he was DuBois-Mandela-Rodney Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. His latest books are „Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories of International Order and Institutions“ (Palgrave, 2006) and „Sovereigns, Quasi-Sovereigns, and Africans: Race and Self-Determination in International Law“ (University of Minnesota Press, 1996). His articles include: ‘Counterpoints and the Imaginaries Behind Them: Thinking Beyond North American and European Traditions,’ International Political Sociology. ‘No Bridges to Swamps: A Postcolonial Perspective On Disciplinary Dialogue,’ in International Relations. ‘The New Cosmopolitanisms: Contexts, Subtexts, and Pretexts,’ International Relations. ‘Regimes of Sovereignty: Rethinking International Morality and the African Condition,’ The European Journal of International Relations. ‘Come to Africa: A Hermeneutic of Race in International Theory,’ Alternatives.


This presentation is a commentary on the processes of constitution and implementation of the postwar global normative order.  It is based on the interventions of four African intellectuals pertaining to an inci-pient ‘order of justification’ for postcolonial – and therefore global – justice, freedom, and democracy. These individuals predicted with near-atomic accuracy the coming dysfunctions and crises of governance of the postwar liberal international order. Secondly, they envisaged an alternative ‘universal’ moral (or normative) order from multiple orders of justification and diverse political and moral concerns. Thirdly, they claimed the likes of Hugo, Voltaire, Kant, Diderot, and Rousseau as their own ‘inheritance’ in equal measure with African traditions in order to legitimize their own claims to the world. The path that they outlined is one to which I subscribe and that I wish to explore further.


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