Critical Legal Conference 2013

Democracy and constitution in Latin America: the des encryption of power and coloniality

Stream Organisers: Ricardo Sanin (Universidad de Caldas-Colombia), Gabriel Mendez (Universidad Autónoma de Manizales-Colombia), Jose Luiz Quadros (Universidade Federeal de Minas Gerais -Brazil), Tatiana Ribeiro (Universidade Newton Paiva-Brazil), Alejandro Rosillo (USLP -Mexico), Agustin Grijalva (Universidad Andin-Ecuador), Alejandro Medici (UBA-Argentina), Marjorie Marona (UFMG-Brazil), Marcus Albilio Pereyra (UFMG-Brazil)

Some of the new constitutions and political processes taking place in Latin America are a clean and profound fracture, not only from classic western constitutions, but also, and more importantly from coloniality and western ethnocentrism. They are a break from formal western constitutions in the sense that the former has always been a form of neutralizing and destroying democracy, and from coloniality since they announce a new way to build the political subject and its agency in democratic and plural terms.

The purpose of the stream is to reach a unifying concept that allows the connection of the fundamental thesis stemming from critical legal studies, global political economy, critical geopolitics and theories of de-coloniality with the new Latin American political and constitutional processes as an innovative object of study which could unlock the dyad of modernity and coloniality and show a different path towards global emancipation.  We put forward that this concept is that of the “encrypted constitution”, a category of analysis that is able to reveal, at different scales, the farce of political liberalism when it takes the place of the legitimate fundament of democracy, as well as its consummate capacity to conceal the new mechanisms of global power. The category “encrypted constitution” displays a set of tools towards the emancipation of the political subject, the “hidden” people of democracy, through an ample program of research and political action driven by the imperative need of decrypting  constitutions and their immaculate copies, installed in the pinnacles of local and world power.

Please send paper abstracts of 300 words to Ricardo Sanin ( before the 15 June 2013 deadline.

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