The ritualization of conflict resolution procedures in the treatment of uncertainty (En & Fr)
Perig Pitrou (CNRS)
David Lorente Fernández (INAH)
Friday 13 July, 11:30-13:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The aim of this workshop is to understand how the ritualization of procedures for the resolution of conflict involves the participation of non-humans in order to establish specific regimes of truth and authority which might mitigate the uncertainty associated with the deliberative process or pacify possible tensions that justice can provoke.

Long abstract:

In all societies there are some people who are responsible for implementing deliberative activities, sometimes with uncertain outcomes, that aims to resolve conflicts which arise between individuals or groups. As part of decisions that are often difficult to take, these individuals might allocate responsibilities, decide on punishments or set compensation. Beyond the uneasiness associated with the uncertainty of the deliberative process, the fear of error depends mostly on the risks associated with any judiciary intervention. Although its goal is to put an end to conflicts, any adjudication made can create new discordance amongst those who feel misjudged.

Within this context, we consider the ritualization of the procedures for conflict resolution as a strategy that provides a response to the uncertainty and anxiety of those who administer justice. By focusing on case studies, we will consider the multiplicities of the roles that non-humans (gods, institutions, objects, etc.) are called upon to fulfil. Without limiting the analysis to the practice of the ordeal (ordalie), we will seek to understand how these entities are involved in the establishment of specific regimes of truth and authority, through which humans mitigate the uncertainty inherent in the mobilization of axiological principles. Furthermore, we will focus on the way that these non-human agents can be involved, as third parties, in order to pacify tensions that the judicial power generates.