This panel invites contributions on contested issues of justice in Africa, which aim at interrogating both the affective and emotional groundings of such senses of justice and the role that rural ("traditional") and urban ("modern") imaginations play in rooting such groundings in African space.
Recent scholarship on local contestations of justice in Africa, partly inflected by transnationally travelling discourses, has highlighted the need to interrogate both the specific normative framings of justice and the broader political, economic, social and cultural contexts, in which conflicts around senses of justice are enmeshed. Quite often, frictions within local (re)negotiations of justice have been framed in terms of divergent rural and urban imaginations, frequently mapped - both by local actors and observing researchers (e.g. Mamdani) - onto tensions between multiple traditionalities and modernities. While making crucial contributions regarding the in/commensurabilities of various justice formations, their affective and emotional dimension - that is, the realm of "sentiments of justice" - has typically been neglected. Yet these sentiments of justice are arguably crucial for the actual power of normative orientations to attract or antagonise actors, because such sentiments ground and orient perceptions of justice with an intensity, which is often hard to grasp or explain, but nevertheless very real in its consequences. Against this backdrop, this panel invites contributions on disputed issues of justice in Africa, which aim at interrogating both the affective and emotional groundings of such contested senses of justice and the role that rural ("traditional") and urban ("modern") imaginations play in rooting such groundings in African space.
Jessica Johnson (University of Birmingham)
Marika Tsolakis (UCL Institute of Education )
Valerie Haensch (LMU Munich)
Sara de Wit (University of Oxford)