Rethinking Social Justice: Ecological Justice and Ordinary Violence Today

Thursday, 28 July, 2022 - 13:00

WiSER invites you to a lunchtime seminar on

Rethinking Social Justice:
Ecological Justice and Ordinary Violence Today

Presented by Matthieu de Nanteuil, UC Louvain

Rather than presenting research results as such, this seminar will relate a research path, the one that was mine when I arrived in Louvain 20 years ago and then throughout the last two decades. 

Like many sociologists of my generation, I was trained to address the “social question”, in the footsteps of the French sociology of work of the 80s and 90s. Hence a more personal reflection on “frames of justice” in the world of work in the face of the deepening of inequalities but also of the diversification of forms of injustice. However, it gradually became apparent that the language of “social justice” alone was insufficient to address the pathologies of late modernity: this language had to both evolve and address other issues. 

 The general thesis defended here is that critical theory must both clarify its analysis of injustice, by focusing on social actors and integrating the ecological question, and broaden its views on violence, by breaking up with the confusion between violence and homicide and by taking a specific interest in the ordinary violence that tears apart our postcolonial societies – on the racial level in particular. In terms of proposals, it would be a question of both supporting social actors in their ability to overcome injustices and developing new practices of resistance against forms of violence that are often difficult to grasp – or even to name.

Professor de Nanteuil is Professor of Sociology at UC Louvain, the author or editor of many books, and a member of the Louvain School of Management and of the Institute for the Analysis of Change in Historical and Contemporary Societies. His research interests include social and ecological justice, forms of contemporary violence, and armed conflict and peace processes in Colombia.   

Thursday, 28th July 2022
In-Person – WiSER Seminar room

WISER Research Theme: